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Big, Bold Changes Needed For Economic Reform, Says Najib

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BEIJING – Big and bold changes are needed for economic reform to succeed, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Despite acknowledging that reform might be costly with winners and losers in the process, he said some degree of short-term pain must be endured for long-term gain.

“All forms of reform have costs that need to be shouldered, but this is for the people’s benefit,” he told a retreat session at Yangi Lake on the second day of the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting (AELM) today.

Najib expressed support for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s stand that economic reform and innovation should not depend on capital, land or labour force.

“On the contrary, economic growth could be sustainable and probably higher if we focus on innovation and economic reform,” he said.

Malaysia introduced the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Programme (GTP) after he took office in April 2009,he said.

“A capitalist economy alone is not socially inclusive, while a people’s economy is about affordable housing, education and household income which is unable to generate sustainable economic growth,” he said, adding a country must implement both economic models to benefit the people.

Najib said a structure is needed to take research and development by academics to the market place to assist Small and Medium Enterprises.

“On people-to-people connectivity, Malaysia recognises the huge potential in the tourism industry.

“Malaysia emphasises that safety is paramount particularly for civilian flights, including flights over conflict zones,” he said, citing the tragedies of MH370 and MH17, which was brought down by pro-Russian separatists on July 17.

Najib described the APEC summit in Beijing as a success, with the 21 member economies focusing on issues pertaining to economic reform, innovation, connectivity and free trade, among others.

“Such a positive commitment will make Asia Pacific an economically vibrant region,” he said.

Najib also expressed appreciation to the Chinese government for the  high-level facilities provided at the meetings. – BERNAMA

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