KUALA LUMPUR: Budget 2021 is an opportune time for the government to consider and adopt more sustainable ways to grow the economy and build the country’s resilience, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (pic).
“The pandemic remains a threat to our socio-economic recovery, development and future growth.
“Moving forward, Malaysia will play to its strength and just as how digitalisation has been accelerated by the Covid-19 lockdowns, we will take this opportunity to move up the value chain.
“At the same time, we will take advantage of our strategic geographical location, agile workforce, prudent management of resources, excellent infrastructure, as well as our leading reputation in key sectors, including Islamic finance and the halal economy, ” he said in his keynote address at the Malaysian Economic Summit 2020 here yesterday.
Themed “Covid-19: Assessing Financial and Economic Impacts and Its Aftermath”, the event was organised by the Kingsley Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific.
Budget 2021 is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament on Nov 6.
Tengku Zafrul said as part of the government’s 6R Recovery Strategy, Budget 2021 would focus on revitalising the economy and aim to protect lives and livelihood, and build on the current recovery momentum, spurred by the RM305bil economic stimulus packages.
“These stimulus packages have cushioned the impact for people and businesses by adding over 3% to this year’s GDP growth, ” Tengku Zafrul said.
Budget 2021, he said, would also underline a combination of business-friendly policies, prudent fiscal management and effective transformation tools to build the nation’s resilience against future economic shocks.
“By focusing on these areas, this will put us in a better position to ride on the growth trajectory ahead, ” he said.
Malaysia, Tengku Zafrul reiterated, remained open for business, adding that the government had helped businesses maintain their operating capacity through initiatives such as the Wage Subsidy Programmes that had saved 2.6 million jobs, as well as technology adoption programmes.
“We have seen signs of Malaysia’s resilience during this challenging period.
“Despite the lockdown, our country has recorded positive foreign direct investment (FDI) in the second quarter, bringing the total FDI to RM696.5bil as at the end of June.
“This is complemented by 726 projects with proposed investments of RM36.7bil in the pipeline, ” he said.
The government’s focus, said Tengku Zafrul, was clear in that it would continue to support businesses, including small and medium enterprises and mid-tier companies in key sectors still reeling from the impact of the pandemic, and to ensure a stable and conducive environment for investments.
“We will also play our role in upgrading the gig economy, which is fast becoming an integral part of the nation’s growth, and to transform the traditional sectors, as well as to streamline the supply and demand in the job market.” — Bernama
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