KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s economic environment and market sentiment remain positive ahead of the coming 14th General Election, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.
He said the economy had performed well in 2017, posting a 5.9 per cent growth in gross domestic product, the second best in ASEAN after the Philippines, which registered 6.7 per cent.
“The strengthening ringgit, double-digit growth in exports and improved oil prices translate into better revenue for the government.
“Hence, in terms of economic environment, the country is doing fine,” he told reporters after the launch of Takaful Malaysia Digital Strategy here today.
On the stronger ringgit, he said, the fluctuations in the local currency reflected the economic fundamentals.
He said although it would also react to some external and internal factors, in the long term the value would be determined by the fundamentals.
“There was also a strong net inflow of foreign funds into Malaysia’s equities in 2017 (RM10.33 billion, the highest since 2012) and the momentum remained positive into this year.
“Furthermore, he said, exports continued to see good growth on the back of improved global economic growth,” he said.
The world economic growth, projected to be about 3.9 per cent this year, would continue to benefit Malaysia as an open economy, he said.
Earlier, in his keynote speech, Johari said, the digitisation of the economy could act as a catalyst to enhance the country’s income to RM2 trillion in the next seven to eight years.
“The innovative solutions through digital technology were seen as an important component for the country’s transformation as it embarked on the next phase of development under the National Transformation 2050,” he said.
Johari commended Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd on its digitalisation initiatives, as these were very much in line with the overall strategy outlined by the Government in growing the digital economy.
The insurance and takaful industries had recorded significant growth in the past few years and were expected to remain positive in the years to come in tandem with the country’s economic growth, he said.
“Insurance has become a necessity and that the insurers therefore must develop more affordable products that would not put a strain on the wallets of the average income earners who wish to buy insurance to protect their families,” he said. — BERNAMA