KUALA LUMPUR It would be inaccurate to say that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) will not have an impact on the country, however Malaysia’s economy is strong enough to deal with it, said Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
“To say that we will not be affected would be a state of denial and we need to be realistic.
“However, we have a diverse and strong economy which will help us weather the challenges ahead.
“For the meantime, it is business as usual for Malaysia,” the International Trade and Minister said Tuesday at a press conference after releasing the ministry’s 2015 report at Menara Miti.
Mustapa, however, said any impact would be minimal as investment trade with Britain was not as prominent. He acknowledged, though, that the full effect would only to be known in the near future.
“So far we have yet to see the impact of Brexit in this part of the world.
“This is partly due to distance and that Britain is not the top five or top 10 country in terms of trade investment with Malaysia,” he said.
However, he noted that Britain’s exit from the EU would have a bearing on Malaysia’s trade with countries like Holland, France and Germany.
Mustapa said that his ministry would be monitoring developments closely.
On Brexit’s impact on the weakening Ringgit, Mustapa said that it was not a factor.
“It’s not just Brexit, as there are other factors,” he said, adding that fluctuating oil prices were among them.
He added that the present volatility in the markets was not unusual and a temporary shock following Britain’s unexpected exit from EU.
“There are views that this is temporary and there will be a level that is more realistic in the next few days,” he said.