International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today said Malaysia’s economy is on the path to recovery and is projected to chart better growth this year.
He said the brighter economic prospects were attributable to rising global demand, increased public and private spending, and continued policy support.
“This will also be reflected in the recovery in labour market conditions and higher production in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the electrical and electronics (E&E) and oil and gas facilities,” he said in his keynote address at the Malaysian Economic Summit 2021 webinar today, which was read out by deputy minister Lim Ban Hong.
Azmin said due to Malaysia’s open economy, enhancement of productivity and economic growth would be further underpinned by an improvement in the global technology upcycle as well as policy support from various fiscal and monetary measures, including the additional economic stimulus packages.
“This positive outlook is reinforced by the World Bank’s most recent forecast, where it projected that the Malaysian economy would grow by 4.5% in 2021, albeit revised down from our own more robust projections by Bank Negara Malaysia,” he said.
He also said Malaysia’s economic fundamentals remain resilient even during these difficult times, underpinned by the country’s broad-based economic structure which lends strength to its competitiveness.
He noted that last year, Malaysia ranked 12th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, 27th in the IMD World Competitiveness ranking, and fourth out of 17 economies as a manufacturing hub.
“This is significant because our services and manufacturing sectors account for 58% and 23% of the economy respectively, while the commodity sector accounts for 14%, which reflects the increasing sophistication, depth and complexity of the Malaysian economy,” he said.
He said Malaysia had formulated five national investment aspirations to serve as a framework in reinvigorating the national investment landscape as well as enhancing long-term national competitiveness.
In this regard, he said Malaysia aims to increase its economic complexity by ensuring that the country’s economy is increasingly built on skills-based industries, with significant production capabilities to create high-value products and services.
“We seek to create higher value job opportunities for Malaysians to ensure that our people are equipped with sufficient skills for the future,” he said.
“We also intend to extend our domestic linkages through integration with the regional economy, and to empower more local businesses to better participate in the global value chain.”
He said Malaysia wants investments that are interested in expanding across the Asean region, and aims to develop new and existing clusters that play a fundamental role in driving economic spillovers which are they key to delivering holistic ecosystem benefits.
“Finally, we aspire to improve inclusivity by championing equitable growth for the nation, ensuring equal opportunities and adequate safeguards for the people.
“This aspiration seeks to unlock Malaysia’s full potential, fundamentally lowering barriers to access as well as better integrating the economy,” he said.