KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is not planning to revise the gross domestic product (GDP) and fiscal deficit targets, although global crude oil prices have stabilised at around US$45 per barrel and above the US$35 mark set for the 2016 Budget, according to Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (pic).
“It’s still premature. We don’t know whether the price will remain this stable. We are watching closely (the movement of oil prices) and will maintain the GDP growth target.
“But in terms of the fiscal deficit, we have some space, as (with) higher oil prices we can undertake more programmes and projects,” he told a press conference after launching Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd’s (MDV) Elevate programme here yesterday.
Meanwhile, under the 2016 recalibrated budget, the economy is projected to grow between 4.0% and 4.5% this year, based on the assumption of oil prices ranging between US$30-US$35 per barrel.
The Government aims to narrow its fiscal deficit to 3.1% of the GDP from 3.2% last year.
Irwan said Malaysia was spearheading the establishment of the world’s first Islamic Venture Capital in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
He said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to be signed in Jakarta this month between Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP) and the IDB.
“Our team from the Finance Ministry and MAVCAP is currently at the IDB’s headquarters in Jeddah, to discuss the final touches to details of the MoU.
“We are looking at an initial fund size of US$100mil,” he said.
The fund would be utilised to finance start-up companies, not only in Malaysia, but also in the region and other Islamic countries.
Irwan said Islamic countries, apart from Malaysia and Indonesia, were a bit behind in the start-up environment and the MoU is a good avenue for knowledge sharing among the concerned parties.
“The establishment of the Islamic Venture Capital has also the potential to raise the country's per capita income,” he added.
Meanwhile, Elevate is a nurturing programme where selected participants will be groomed, coached and mentored by MDV within a 12-month time frame, with the objective of strengthening financial and project management capabilities to increase their ability to secure financing from MDV or other financial institutions.
The participants are also expected to benefit from MDV’s extensive resources in terms of experience skillsets, market access, links to key industry participants and partners in the technology and financial ecosystem.
In addition, Elevate will also provide a pre-approved financial allocation of up to RM2mil to the top graduates of the programme. – Bernama