MIER Revises GDP Growth Forecast to 4.8 %

The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) has revised its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for 2017 to 4.8 per cent, a 0.3 per cent increase from its projection in April. Executive Director, Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid, said the revised forecast was primarily driven by domestic demand and reinforced by stronger external demand. “Domestic demand is expected to grow by 4.6 per cent and private consumption to rise by six per cent. “Meanwhile, the growth in goods and services exports, as well as imports are maintained at 1.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.”

Yesterday, the International Monetary Fund upgraded Malaysia’s economic growth rate for 2017 to 4.8 per cent from 4.5 per cent.

IBM, MaGIC Collaborate to Develop Malaysian Startups

IBM and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) are collaborating to nurture and enable the start-up community in Malaysia with cloud and cognitive technologies. Under this new initiative, IBM experts will provide business mentoring and training on the IBM Cloud, to help Malaysian startups develop competitive, next-generation applications and services that will transform their industries. MaGIC would leverage IBM Cloud technologies such as cognitive computing, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) through its programmes and activities for the start-up community and developer ecosystem in Malaysia. Established under the Ministry of Finance, MaGIC aims to catalyse the entrepreneurial ecosystem by bringing together the abundant resources from partners and communities to develop enduring and high-growth startups that will make a positive impact, regionally and globally. Since its launch in 2014, MaGIC has successfully accelerated 144 business startups and 70 social enterprises in three cohorts.

 

Digitalisation and the IoTs Among Key Drivers for the Success of National Transformation Programme

Digitalisation and the rise of Internet-of-Things (IoTs) will be the key drivers for the success of the National Transformation Programme (NTP), say experts. Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Corporation Malaysia Deputy Chief Executive Officer Rizal Nainy said in light of the Industry 4.0, digitalisation would become an inevitable megatrend for industry players of various sectors to stay abreast of the new revolution. He cited as an example, the launch of China’s Alibaba digital free trade zone (DFTZ) in Malaysia, where the facility was slated to boost private investments and provide more career opportunities for the people. Rizal added that the establishment of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has acted as a one-stop centre to facilitate SMEs’ applications to relocate them to the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). “The SMEs, which account for nearly 99 per cent of businesses and deemed as the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, is poised to benefit from the technology innovation,” he said.

PUNB Seeks To Create More Young Entrepreneurs

Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) is focusing its efforts on creating more entrepreneurs aged under 30 in line with the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) policies. Chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam said as of June 30, PUNB had approved loans totalling RM231.78 million to 608 companies involving 862 entrepreneurs, adding, around 60 per cent of them were youths.

JCorp Draws RM2 Billion Investments To Johor

Johor continues to be the main foreign investment destination with four companies from Japan investing close to RM2 billion in the Tanjung Langsat Industrial Park, near Pasir Gudang. Johor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, said the investments would be in the plastic engineering, and chemical and polymer-based sectors. “These investments would provide the spillover economic benefits to the people of Johor especially in creating jobs, as well as related business opportunities. “The confidence these renowned foreign companies have in continuing to invest in Johor proved their belief in the potential in Johor.” Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled who is also Johor Corporation (JCorp) Chairman said as a state government conglomerate, JCorp continued to play its role in contributing efforts to attract investments to Johor, and making the state as the main foreign investment destination.

IMF: Tailored Structural Reforms Key To Boost Productivity

The International Monetary Fund said well-sequenced and tailored structural reforms were needed in all countries to boost productivity and investment. IMF Economic Counsellor Maurice Obstfeld said this is on the backdrop of the subdued medium-term outlook for advanced economies and commodity exporters. “Fiscal policy should support growth and potential output, as well as being inclusive,” he told a briefing on the ‘World Economic Outlook Update’ in Kuala Lumpur. Obstfeld said Malaysia was in a favourable position with strong balance and there was room for further strengthening of safety net and transition to the digital economy and higher-income economy. However, he pointed out that education and up-skilling to move into the knowledge based advance economy needed to be addressed effectively.