PETALING JAYA: The government’s fiscal policies and Budget 2023 measures are starting to bear fruit despite multiple challenges, according to the Finance Ministry (MoF).
Citing early economic indicators, the MoF noted that Malaysia achieved strong growth of 5.6% in the first quarter of 2023 (1Q23) and reduced unemployment rate to 3.5%, against a height of 5.2% in May 2020.
It added that approved investments in 1Q23 hit RM71bil, a 60% increase from RM45bil in 1Q22.
“This is underpinned by strong investment interest from, among others, Amazon Web Services, Tesla EV, Geely/ Proton Automotive City in Tanjung Malim and Ronsheng Petrochemicals in Pengerang.
“The affirmation of credit rating by Fitch and Moody’s in February 2023 and April 2023 respectively, reflect their confidence in the government’s determination to sustain economic growth amidst highly challenging global conditions.”
The Prime Minister also reiterated the government’s commitment to drive inclusive and sustainable growth, restore confidence in public institutions and governance, as well as safeguard social justice for all Malaysians, in line with the Malaysia Madani vision, said MoF.
“The government has taken a wide range of measures to catalyse investments and attract high quality investments that will generate linkages with local businesses and high income job opportunities.”
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also Finance Minister, said these included Budget 2023 measures to support small and medium enterprises, particularly through the provision of various financing facilities and guarantees worth RM40bil.
“The government is committed to further facilitate ease of doing business and support domestic direct investments,” he said at a dialogue attended by business chambers such as National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Malaysia, Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia and Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, government-linked investment companies as well as banks.
“To further promote domestic growth, the Cabinet has been focusing on accelerating implementation of government projects and facilitating approvals for businesses such as applications for skilled expatriates,” he added.
The government’s economic policies and priorities will be further articulated in the upcoming Industrial MasterPlan (August 2023), 12th Malaysia Plan Mid Term Review (September 2023) and Budget 2024 (October 2023), said MoF.