KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia will to strive to be even more business and market friendly, while improving transparency, accountability and efficiency, said Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said Malaysia had many investments and incentives in place to ensure the country captured a good share of the new global economy.
“The Securities Commission, Bursa Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia and the Finance Ministry, have continuously introduced measures to further increase the dynamism of our capital market.
“I can assure the introduction of further measures in the near future,” he said in his keynote address at the opening of Invest Malaysia 2018 here today.
The two-day 14th Invest Malaysia is co-organised by Bursa Malaysia Bhd and Maybank. The event is held on an annual basis.
It has attracted 61 local companies, ranging from large to mid-capital public listed companies with a market capitalisation of RM767.6 billion.
Najib reiterated that Malaysia’s strong position today was the result of tough decisions taken by the government, which also saw the diversification of sources of income.
“We spared Malaysia from any suffering following the massive drop in the price of petrofuels by reducing the reliance on oil and gas revenue from 41 per cent in 2009 to 14 per cent today.
“That truly saved Malaysia. If we were still so reliant on oil and gas revenue, it would have been catastrophic,” he said.
He also said implementation of the goods and services tax was a difficult move, but a necessary and far-sighted decision and the right thing to do, despite the fact that it was unpopular.
The Prime Minister also urged investors to invest in Malaysia’s potential and be part of its success.
He proudly shared many of Malaysia’s success stories at the event, among others, that Malaysia’s trade grew strongly by 20.8 per cent from January to November 2017.
In November alone, gross exports reached a double-digit growth of 14.4 per cent or RM83.5 billion.
In 2017, foreign net fund inflow recorded a positive RM10.8 billion, the highest since 2012, while corporate bond and new sukuk issuance amounted to RM111.2 billion for the eleven months of 2017, close to 30 per cent higher than the whole of 2016.
Najib said, not just limited to the capital market, the World Economic Global Competitiveness index for 2017-2018 rated Malaysia very highly out of 137 countries, while Malaysia was ranked third for Strength of Investor Protection, fifth for Pay and Productivity, fifth for the low Burden of Government Regulation and 14th for the Quality of Education system.
“Another global recognition was from the International Monetary Fund, which praised what is called our sound macroeconomic policy responses, in the face of significant headwinds and risks in the most recent report.
“It is quoted as saying the Malaysian economy had shown resilience in recent years and continues to perform well,” he added.
The World Bank also recently confirmed that it believes Malaysia is on track, reporting that, the country is expected to achieve high-income country status in the next few years. – BERNAMA