Malaysia is expected to reach up to 4.8 per cent economic growth next year due to a variety of factors including strong macroeconomic fundamentals, low and stable inflation, and a healthy current account surplus of the balance of payments, said Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. He said the ministry’s outlook is higher than the estimates by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, at 4.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively.

“For 2020, RM56 billion has been allocated for 5,466 development projects in order to support the growth momentum and strengthen the country’s long-term economic capacity,” Azmin said in a statement. Of the RM56 billion, RM53.2 billion has been set aside for 4,744 ongoing projects, and the remainder RM2.8 billion for 722 new projects.

“The government remains vigilant and continues to focus on strengthening Malaysia’s near-term resilience and advancing structural reforms to raise medium-term growth by optimising the country’s growth potential by strengthening productivity and innovation. “Emphasis will be placed on empowering the manufacturing sector to produce more high quality, diverse and complex products. Focus will be given to strengthen sectors with high growth potential such as aerospace, medical devices, environment and ecology, machinery and equipment, as well as chemicals and chemical products,” he said.

Datuk Seri Azmin added that in light of external uncertainties, efforts to build up Malaysia’s resilience and boosting endogenous sources of growth will be increased, since domestic demand remain as the key driver of growth for 2020. “In addition, household spending will continue to be supported by wage growth and favourable employment prospects, in line with the Malaysia@Work initiative announced in Budget 2020. “Its total allocation of RM6.5 billion for the next five years is aimed at creating better employment opportunities for youth and women, while reducing the country’s dependency on low-skilled foreign workers,” he said.

The minister added that the government will also continue to propel Malaysia towards achieving a more sustainable and equitable growth in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Azmin said Malaysia will continue to adopt an open trade and investment policy. He said the policy would play an important role in the country’s pursuit for greater integration with Asean, leveraging the region’s large population size of more than 600 million people. “In the context of an increasingly networked global economy, Malaysia will also continue to leverage our cultural endowment to further boost our competitive advantage. “In this regard, Malaysia has successfully organised the Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit), which saw the successful conclusion of 18 agreements, whereby leaders from across the Muslim world agreed to channel more direct investments towards the development of their economies,” he said in a statement today. He said cooperation was forged during the KL Summit in the areas of media, centres of excellence, youth exchange, defence and security, as well as food security.

Datuk Seri Azmin said the hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit and Visit Malaysia Year in 2020 would also be catalysts for growth, particularly for the tourism industry. “Thus, the ongoing policy initiatives will further enhance Malaysia’s economic fundamentals and continue to support the ringgit going forward,” he said. He added that the government would continue to ensure that concerted efforts are undertaken to propel Malaysia towards achieving a more sustainable and equitable growth in line with the shared prosperity agenda.

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