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Najib: ICT To Drive Economy Next Year

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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia must depend on an ICT-driven domestic economy in 2017 which is expected to be a challenging year.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pix) said Malaysia’s fiscal position remained strong despite the difficulties, but it was no reason for the country to “rest on its laurels”.

“We have made significant strides but these achievements do not mean that we can rest on our laurels.

“In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF forecast that 2017 will be an equally challenging year.

“Global growth is expected to improve only marginally from 3.2 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent.

“Therefore, in order for the Malaysian economy to remain on track, we have to

depend on the domestic economy,” Najib said at the Budget 2017 Consultation Council meeting.

“This is why I believe we must fully embrace the opportunities brought about by information and communication technology or ICT.

“We must leverage the transformative power of science and technology, and instil the spirit of innovation and creativity among our entrepreneurs to further energise the domestic economy,” Najib said.

There is talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which depicts digital revolution and characterised by cyber physical system.

The Revolution is enabled by the popularisation of mobile devices; unprecedented processing power; storage capacity; and access to knowledge.

“Thus, we need to capitalise on the digital and sharing economy that is becoming ever-more important.

“These efforts will enable us to strengthen our growth momentum and be ready when the global economy fully recovers,” said Najib.

The prime minister also highlighted labour productivity, attracting foreign talent and having more women in boardrooms as among the targets to achieve by 2020.

“Increasing the labour productivity rate is also key to our target of becoming a

high income status nation by 2020. We must provide opportunities for people to ‘re-skill and to up-skill’”, he said.

“Malaysia has to be an even more attractive destination for foreign talent. And we will continue with all efforts to encourage women to take their rightful place in the workplace and in the boardroom,” he said.

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