International rating agencies confident M'sia can reach fiscal targets

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 08 May 2019

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng: Improved tax collection strategies and continued economic growth will ensure that Malaysia readily meets its fiscal consolidation objectives.

PETALING JAYA: International rating agencies are confident Malaysia will meet its fiscal targets, particularly the 3.4% fiscal deficit-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio this year, according to the Finance Ministry (MoF).

The ministry issued a statement yesterday following Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s recent visit to the United States in April, where he engaged with international rating agencies such as S&P, Fitch and Moody’s to provide an update on Malaysia’s current economic and financial developments.

“The international rating agencies were convinced that Malaysia would achieve our fiscal targets, particularly the 3.4% fiscal deficit-to-GDP ratio this year, and were comfortable with Malaysia’s economic performance to date,” said the MoF.

Lim led a Malaysian delegation to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) Spring Meetings (Meetings) held from April 11 to 13 in Washington D.C.

This year’s meetings focused on current issues affecting the global economy, international financial system and progress of the global development agenda, including eradicating extreme poverty, dealing with climate change, promoting shared prosperity and inclusivity.

He represented the 11-member South-East Asia Voting Group (SEAVG) comprising Brunei , Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam.

The meeting was to emphasise to WBG not just to uplift the living standards of poor countries, but also the need to set up a model of how middle-income member countries can avoid slipping back into the low-income status, or escape the middle-income trap to be a high-income economy like Singapore, South Korea or Chile.

During his visit, Lim was also invited to deliver the keynote address at a WBG event in Washington, where the theme was “Unlocking the Potential of the Digital Economy”.

He shared his views in the Malaysian context and aspirations of using technology and the digital economy, especially embracing 5G fully, to launch Malaysia into a high-income status nation, the statement said.

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