GDP to moderate in 2H17 despite optimism
• Malaysia To Continue Supporting Multilateralism
• Lazada Malaysia partners AIG Malaysia to launch affordable insurance online
• Malaysia Needs ‘new Four’ To Reach US$160 Bln Bilateral Trade With China
• IKEA To Establish RM908 Mln Regional Hub In Malaysia
• Singapore calls on the US and China to avoid a trade war

GDP to moderate in 2H17 despite optimism
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed expects moderation in Malaysia’s economic growth in the second half of the year, following the country’s strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth during the second quarter of the year. “Although there is a lot of optimism in the air because of the good numbers, there is a lot of uncertainty. For now, we are expecting moderation in the second half of the year,” he said. Datuk Seri Mustapa said the official GDP forecast for Malaysia remains at 4% to 5%, despite the upside surprise in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Mustapa said Malaysia would continue to support multilateralism despite the prevalent anti-globalisation rhetoric in some parts of the world. He said it was one way for the country, which practices an open economy with a relatively small domestic market, to deal with the current global challenges and ensure long-term growth and stability. “Malaysia continues to be pragmatic in its engagement with the rest of the world. We will continue to support the multilateral system and open regionalism,” he said. He said that trade agreements, be it bilateral or multilateral, were important for the nation, which was why Malaysia, together with 10 other remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was still looking at options to bring the agreement into force, minus the United States.

Lazada Malaysia partners AIG Malaysia to launch affordable insurance online
Leading e-commerce platform, Lazada Malaysia, today announced a partnership with AIG Malaysia to provide a convenient, accessible, and seamless purchase of insurance for Malaysians on its platform. Customers who shop on Lazada Malaysia are now able to shop from the ‘freestanding’ AIG shop-front to easily purchase Travel, Snatch Theft and Personal Accident (Active Lifestyle Care) coverage. These premiums will be priced between RM8 to RM115. Malaysia’s general insurance penetration level, measured in terms of premiums as a share of GDP, stands at less than 2 per cent as compared to 3-4 per cent in more developed markets. Recognising that the population remains largely uninsured, the partnership seeks to continue expanding the reach and penetration of insurance in the country, further generating more awareness among consumers.

Malaysia Needs ‘new Four’ To Reach US$160 Bln Bilateral Trade With China
Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce President, Tan Yew Sing said Malaysia needs to strive further to achieve the US$160 billion target set for bilateral trade with China this year. He said Malaysia and China should look at how to capitalise on new industries, set new targets, new virtual invention and adopt a new thinking. Tan said the target for this year was set four years ago by leaders of both countries but bilateral trade has been hovering around US$100 billion the past few years. “Malaysian entrepreneurs should learn how to cooperate with China’s emerging industries and play their part in cross-border cooperation,” he said. Tan added that they should also target local non-Mandarin speaking businessmen and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to conduct business with their Chinese counterparts.

IKEA To Establish RM908 Mln Regional Hub In Malaysia
IKEA, the Netherlands-based furniture retailer, will be establishing a regional distribution and supply chain centre for ASEAN in Malaysia, with an investment of RM908 million. In adopting the structure and technology of IKEA’s biggest regional distribution centre in Germany, it would be among the top 10 largest regional distribution centres of the IKEA Group globally, said the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). “The new centre will manage an inventory of 9,500 stock keeping units (SKUs) worth RM6.6 billion annually. “IKEA’s new 100,000 square metre specialised warehouse will utilise its integrated information and communications technology systems and automation to reduce the dependency on labour and significantly increase the efficiency and accuracy of its inventory management processes,” MIDA said.

Singapore calls on US and China to avoid a trade war
Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan called on the US and China to avoid a trade war while urging nations to stop trying to protect obsolete jobs. “I’m most worried about a trade war,” Balakrishnan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Singapore is one of the world’s most trade-reliant economies, with exports more than double the size of its gross domestic product. The government has cited rising trade protectionism as one of the key risks to its economic outlook. China and the US were intertwined like never before in terms of trade and investment, Balakrishnan said, making the current tensions incomparable with the Cold War rivalry between Washington and Moscow.