Highlights:

  1. Tun Dr Mahathir arrives in Port Moresby to lead Malaysian delegation to APEC Summit
  2. Malaysia’s third-quarter GDP growth at 4.4pc, on track for 4.8pc in 2018
  3. Malaysia’s exports up 5.2 per cent in Q3 2018
  4. Miss Kaya launches accelerator programme for women entrepreneurs
  5. Michelin launches guide for best Cantonese restaurants around the world

Tun Dr Mahathir to lead Malaysian delegation to APEC Summit
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will lead the Malaysian delegation to the 26th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from 17-18 November. The prime minister’s attendance will provide the opportunity to showcase the New Malaysia as a mature democracy that upholds the primacy of the rule of law. It will also outline Malaysia’s commitments and position in working with other economies in the Asia-Pacific region towards achieving the objectives of the 2020 Bogor Goals and beyond. Tun Dr Mahathir’s presence at the meeting underscores Malaysia’s expectations of the APEC in building an Asia-Pacific community towards achieving economic growth and equitable development through trade and economic cooperation. He will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Darell Leiking. Speaking to the Malaysian media at Port Moresby, Datuk Saifuddin pointed out that this would be Tun Dr Mahathir’s first appearance at APEC as the 7th Prime Minister, representing a new government with fresh mandates and aspirations. APEC 2018 is themed “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future”. The meeting will be focusing on improving connectivity to deepen economic integration, as well as promoting sustainable and inclusive trade growth in the APEC region. Tun Dr Mahathir is also scheduled to deliver his remarks at the APEC CEO Summit entitled “The Future of Economic Growth”. Dr Mahathir, together with other APEC Leaders, will participate in the dialogues with the APEC Business Advisory Council or ABAC and APEC Leaders’ Dialogue with Pacific Island Leaders. The Prime Minister arrived at Port Moresby tonight.

BNM: Third-quarter GDP growth at 4.4pc, on track for 4.8pc in 2018
The Malaysian economy grew by 4.4 per cent in the third quarter, according to Bank Negara Malaysia. BNM governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the private sector continued to be the prime driver of growth as private consumption expanded strongly following the zero-rating of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) during the period. “The Malaysian economy is on track to achieve GDP growth of 4.8 per cent for 2018,” said Nor Shamsiah during the 3rd quarter GDP presentation here today. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.6 per cent which was faster than the 0.3 per cent growth in the previous quarter. Meanwhile headline inflation declined to 0.5 per cent during the third quarter of 2018 mainly imputing the impact from the GST zerorisation. The implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) on September 1 had a muted impact on inflation during the quarter.
Inflation is expected to remain benign for the rest of 2018 mainly reflecting the impact from GST zerorisation and the stable domestic fuel prices. Headline inflation is forecasted to inch up due to higher global oil prices and prospective floating of fuel prices. “Going forward, BNM projects the GDP growth in 2019 to be in the region of 4.9 per cent,” added Nor Shamsiah. Private sector activity is expected to remain the key driver of growth amid the reprioritisation of public expenditure. The anticipated gradual recovery in commodity prices will also lend credence to the projected growth.

Malaysia’s exports up 5.2 per cent in Q3 2018
Malaysia’s exports of goods in the third quarter of 2018 (Q3 2018) grew by 5.2 per cent to RM251 billion from the previous quarter. The Department of Statistics said the main products which contributed to the increase were electrical and electronics which increased by RM9.6 billion (10.7 per cent) to RM99.4 billion, followed by crude petroleum (70.6 per cent) and refined petroleum (2.8 per cent). Two other major export products declined, namely palm oil and palm oil-based products (16.1 per cent) and liquefied natural gas (21.4 per cent). Imports in Q3 2018 also increased 6.3 per cent to RM225.8 billion, with consumption goods accounting for 8.4 per cent of total imports, an expansion of RM980.1 million to RM18.9 billion, mainly attributed to durables, semi-durables and non-durables.  Capital goods, which represented 12.6 per cent of total imports, rose RM302.2 million or 1.1 per cent to RM28.5 billion due to the increase in both industrial transport equipment and capital goods, except transport equipment.

Miss Kaya launches accelerator programme for women entrepreneurs
Miss Kaya and LATTICE80, today, announced the launch of an accelerator programme for women entrepreneurs at the Singapore FinTech Festival. The accelerator will focus specifically on supporting women-led businesses. Miss Kaya is a financial and lifestyle platform for women founded by serial entrepreneur, Gina Heng. It was recently awarded Diversity Fintech of the Year – International by YBF Ventures and a panel of distinguished judges in Australia. Understanding the startup environment and the various challenges in building new businesses, Miss Kaya will bring various specialists on board to support and mentor female founders. LATTICE80, the world’s largest FinTech Hub will collaborate with Miss Kaya under KAYA Network. Businesses that are selected to be part of the accelerator programme will be able to offer their products and services using the Miss Kaya Marketplace API. Participating startups will also be supported by the global LATTICE80 KAYA Network, its Angel Investor Network, and expertise in helping businesses expand and enter new markets.

Michelin launches guide for best Cantonese restaurants around the world
Michelin has released a new dining guide on the best restaurants around the world for Cantonese foods, the first time in its 118-year history it has created a selection covering one specific cuisine rather than a geographical area. The Michelin Guide Fine Cantonese Food features 291 establishments in 15 countries around the world, including 78 restaurants that already hold Michelin stars; 62 Bib Gourmand restaurants (which denote good food for good value); and 151 restaurants awarded a Michelin Plate (“capably prepared” dishes). The guide also features four of Michelin’s top-ranked Cantonese restaurants (three stars): The Eight in the Grand Lisboa Hotel in Macau, Lung King Heen and T’ang Court in Hong Kong, and Le Palais in Taipei. Overall, Asia boasts the largest number of starred Cantonese restaurants (69 establishments), followed by Europe (eight) and the US (one). Meanwhile, a demotion in the latest Michelin guide for Shanghai has left the bustling city with just one triple-Michelin-starred restaurant: Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet. For the 2019 edition of Michelin Shanghai, inspectors took away Cantonese restaurant T’ang Court’s third star, leaving Ultraviolet the sole bearer of all three stars. A three-star ranking denotes an “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”