Editor’s Picks: 27 October 2017

  • Budget 2018 to adopt 8-pronged strategy
  • Malaysia’s posts net FDI inflow of RM47.2 billion for 2016
  • Destination Malaysia to get more visibility in Hyderabad
  • Singapore’s economic growth likely to ‘moderate’ from this year

Budget 2018 Highlights:

Themed “Prosper with Inclusive Economy”, Budget 2018 has an eight-pronged thrusts:

  1. Enhancing Investment, Trade and Industries
  2. Achieving the objectives of TN50
  3. Empowering Education, Skills and Training, and Talent Development
  4. Driving Inclusive Development
  5. Prioritising the Wellbeing of the Rakyat and Provide Opportunities to Generate Income
  6. Fortifying the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Digital Economy
  7. Enhancing Efficiency and Delivery of GLC Companies and Public Service
  8. Balancing Worldly and non-Worldly Excellence
  • RM280.25 billion allocation – an increase of RM19.45 billion over the 2017 Budget, Federal Government revenue expected to record RM239.86 billion in 2018.
  • Total investment to increase by 6.7%, accounting for 25.5% of GDP in 2018. Private sector to be the main engine of growth, accounting for 70% of the total. Income per capital to rise to RM42,777 in 2018.
  • Government to assist start-ups. Investors from major institutions will allocate RM1 billion for venture capital investments in selected sectors, to be coordinated by the Securities Commission. Income tax exemption will be widened to include management fees and performance fees, which are accepted by venture capital management companies for tax assessment running from 2018 to 2022. Minimum investment limit in a venture company will be reduced from 70 per cent to 50 per cent from 2018 to 2022 to assist venture capital companies in investing in a venture capital firm. Companies or individuals investing in venture capital companies will be given a tax deduction equivalent to the amount of their investments, which will be limited to a maximum of RM20 million ringgit per year
  • Incentives for tourism, including health tourism and expansion and upgrading of airports in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
  • RM200 million allocated to high-impact strategic fund under MIDA
  • Another RM200 million allocated to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) financing scheme, increasing the fund size to RM2.5 billion.
  • RM200 million allocated to SMEs for training, grants and soft loans under SME Corp.
  • Mandatory for the private sector to increase maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days.
  • BRIM to continue for 7 million recipients.

Malaysia Posts Net FDI Inflow of RM47.2 Billion For 2016

Malaysia posted a net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow of RM47.2 billion in 2016 against RM39.4 billion in 2015, coming mostly from Asia. FDI covers the investment by foreign companies which hold a more than 10 per cent equity in Malaysia’s companies. The Department of Statistics said Asia as the main source of FDI inflows, accounted for 74.6 per cent or RM35.2 billion, followed by Europe (14.1 per cent). Hong Kong, Singapore and China were the top three countries from Asia. The Department added that the FDI position registered RM546.6 billion and the better numbers was supported by higher net inflow in equity and investment fund shares. 50.9 per cent of the FDI inflow was channelled to the services sector, mainly in the utilities sub-sector and financial and insurance/takaful activities. Manufacturing and mining and quarrying sectors constituted 43.3 per cent to the total FDI flows.

Destination Malaysia To Get More Visibility in Hyderabad

Malaysia as a travel destination will get more visibility in south India after a marketing and promotion agreement with Hyderabad airport. The tripartite deal signed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board and GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) supports Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport as a regional hub for travel to Malaysia. “This is the first time Tourism Malaysia has entered into such an agreement with an airport,” Tourism Malaysia deputy director-general for promotions Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud told Bernama. The campaign to promote travel to Malaysia via Hyderabad, a key business and technology hub in southern India, is expected to boost the airport’s efforts to attract more airlines for Malaysia flights. “We are hoping this will convince Indian carriers to start flights to Malaysia. There is a lot of potential for increasing air traffic between India and Malaysia,” Abdul Khani said.

Singapore’s economic growth likely to ‘moderate’ from this year

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said the republic’s economic growth is expected to remain firm next year, although expansion “could moderate from this year”. In its latest macroeconomic review released today, MAS said gross domestic product is expected to come in at the upper half of the 2 to 3 per cent forecast range this year. For 2018, it expects the economy to expand at a steady, but slightly reduced pace, amid sound global growth and a broadening recovery across domestic industries. In the biannual report, which contains the central bank’s analysis of Singapore’s economic performance and outlook, MAS also said it expects current uneven sectoral growth to “dissipate in 2018”, with expansion in the trade-related cluster moderating and average performers improving. “Sectoral outcomes have been relatively uneven in 2017 as a whole, with strong performers in the IT-related industries helping to shore up weakness in construction and oil-related activities. This divergence is expected to narrow going forward,” the report said.