Time right to consolidate fiscal condition, World Bank tells Malaysia

  • Economy
  • Thursday, 04 Oct 2018

The worsening of China

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should take the opportunity from the current gloomy global economic environment to consolidate the country's fiscal condition, says World Bank Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific Region Sudhir Shetty.

He said Malaysia should look at long-term economic sustainability instead of propping up growth in the short-term.

"It's time to consolidate on the fiscal side to ensure that buffers are built in case the shocks are larger than anticipated.

"In that respect, having a slower growth might be a worthwhile trade-off in favour of greater stability, going forward," he told reporters during the  'East Asia and Pacific Economic Update' here today.

World Bank Lead Economist, Macro Economics, Trade and Investment, Richard  Record said there was an opportunity for the country now to undertake deep and structural reforms which held back Malaysia in the past.

Record also said the structural reforms should be undertaken particularly in areas such as education, skills, productivity, competition and regulation of markets.

“The nation should also put more emphasis on quality instead of the quantity of growth.

"Especially, if we are looking at risk factors, volatility, trade tensions and so on.

"Think about ways to better protect the poor from the impact of these kinds of shocks including issues such as the cost of living, health, inflation and wage growth," he added.

On Malaysia's economic growth, Shetty said the country was forecast to experience a lower growth rate of 4.9 per cent this year compared with 5.9 per cent last year.

This was due to slower export, trade and lower public investment and consumption as some large infrastructure projects have been cancelled, he added. - Bernama
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