KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the global headwinds, Malaysia’s economy remains resilient and the Government’s plan to strengthen, liberalise and open up the economy is working, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Speaking to an audience which included foreign investors at the 12th Invest Malaysia 2016 event, the Prime Minister outlined key achievements of the country’s economy over the past few years (see graphic).
For instance, he said the economy grew 5% last year with the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development forecasting the same average growth rate for the next four years, far higher than the global average.
Foreign investors are also flocking to the country, buying RM5.5bil worth of domestic stocks in the first quarter of this year alone.
These achievements, he said, were based on the Government’s focus to ensure sustainabilty, inclusivity and innovation.
“So, it is clear that we have an economic plan that has worked and is still working. It is a long-term plan that works for the benefit of Malaysians not just today, but tomorrow and in the years and decades to come,” Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said in his keynote address.
Organised by Bursa Malaysia and Maybank Kim Eng, the annual Invest Malaysia is the country’s biggest capital market showcase, which promotes local investment opportunities to global fund managers.
This year’s event saw 47 global and regional fund managers, representing US$11.167bil (RM43.3bil) in assets, taking part.
Najib said Malaysia’s strong economic performance was achieved despite sustained political attacks on the economy to undermine the Government.
“The ringgit is Asia’s best performing currency this year to date. This may surprise my political opponents who said if I stayed on, the ringgit would fall to RM4.80 to the US dollar. Now it’s RM3.88 to the dollar.”
Najib said some people would like foreign investors to think that Malaysia’s economy was in trouble. Without naming names, the Prime Minister said some people even went against their own principles by asking for foreign intervention.
“Some who ought to know better have been talking Malaysia down. Indeed, they do know better. Malaysia is sustainable at the core. The facts, including those I have just outlined to you, are indisputable.”
He said the accolades Malaysia’s economy had received of late from global bodies, ranging from Fitch rating agency to the World Bank, were the results of the Government’s continuous efforts to ensure a business-friendly environment.
“What we have achieved would not have been possible if the country was not administered with proper governance and a strong sense of responsibility towards Malaysia and its people,” he added.
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