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KUALA LUMPUR – Maybank Investment Bank has revised its upward growth forecast for Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017 to between 5.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent from 4.2 per cent recorded last year, on improving key economic fundamentals and macroeconomic conditions.
It said the bank was improving the ‘big picture’ this year and had upgraded the 2017-2018 GDP growth forecast to 5.5 per cent from 5.1 per cent previously, mainly on firmer domestic demand growth as net external demand was expected to be a drag rather than a driver of growth, although less than previously projected.
“The upward revision is mainly on account of faster growth forecast for manufacturing (to +5.6 per cent from +5.0 per cent) and services (to +5.9 per cent from +5.8 per cent) on the supply side, and the higher growth of consumer spending (to +6.7 per cent from +6.4 per cent), private investment (to +9.4 per cent from +8.7 per cent) as well as exports (to +8.5 per cent from +7.8 per cent),” it said in a note today.
The investment bank said it expected the above five per cent growth momentum to be sustained in 2018, albeit, at a slightly slower pace of 5.1 per cent (+4.9 per cent previously).
On Friday, the Bank Negara Malaysia reported that Malaysia\’s economy in the second quarter 2017 expanded 5.8 per cent from a year earlier, the fastest pace in more than two years and defying expectations for a slight slowdown.
KUALA LUMPUR – Relations between Malaysia and Singapore have grown stronger over the 52 years following the republic’s independence on Aug 9, 1965, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
He said many factors contributed to the strengthening of the relations, including their shared history, being the closest neighbours and their joining ASEAN together on Aug 8, 1967.
Singapore is Malaysia’s second largest trading partner after China, with total trade amounting to RM190.6 billion in 2016 or 13 per cent of Malaysia’s total global trade that year, he said in a post on his blog, sskeruak.blogspot.my, in conjunction with the Singapore’s 52nd anniversary of independence today.
Singapore became independent in 1965 after leaving the Federation of Malaysia that was formed on Sept 16, 1963, grouping Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.
Malaya became independent on Aug 31, 1957.
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has been able to sustain its strong economic growth over the years, driven by measures introduced by the government including the National Transformation Programme (NTP) which was launched in 2010.
Under the NTP, there are seven National Key Result Areas under the Government Transformation Programme, plus the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) and six Strategic Reform Initiatives under the Economic Transformation Programme, which evidently have borne fruit.
The 12 NKEAs comprise selected sectors of economic opportunities for the private sector, which is driving the country towards high-income status and global competitiveness.
The NKEAs constituted the largest share of the gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for RM865.3 billion, or 70 per cent, of the country’s GDP of RM1.23 trillion in 2016.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist, Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the establishment of the 12 NKEAs was certainly helpful as the various stakeholders were able to view the industry in a structured manner.
“That way, we could identify and single out issues which needed further attention and provide the solutions,” he told Bernama.
While Malaysia already has a competitive advantage in some sectors and the potential to carve a niche in others, the NKEAs underscore Malaysia’s targeted approach to achieving sustainable economic growth.
The implementation of the NKEAs is overseen by the relevant ministries, which coordinate, monitor and track the progress of the sectors.
An immediate impact of this private sector-led growth is the creation of a wealth of employment opportunities for Malaysians. Since 2010 until last year, the economy has recorded 2.26 million new jobs.
In Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 2017 recently, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the gross national income (GNI) had increased by nearly 50 per cent between 2009 and 2016, and GNI per capita using the Atlas method rose to US$9,850.
Based on the World Bank’s latest high-income threshold, the country has narrowed the gap towards the high-income target to 19 per cent from 33 per cent. — Bernama
LANZHOU – Lanzhou, the capital city of China’s Gansu Province with a Muslim population of over one million, has the potential to become a gateway for Malaysian halal products into other Muslim territories in China and even central Asia where demand for such products is growing.
Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said the industrial city, located about 1,505 km southwest of Beijing can be the best place for Malaysian halal companies to tap into the existing market for its products.
“This gateway can provide another platform for trade exchange between both parties whereby Malaysian companies can penetrate Lanzhou and other parts of Muslim territories in China while Lanzhou’s halal products can explore Malaysian and Southeast Asia markets,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the China Lanzhou Investment and Trade Fair on Thursday.
Themed, “Jointly Advancing BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) To Promote Mutual-Winning Cooperation”, this year’s edition, which focused on openness, pioneering, cooperation and development’, began on Thursday and would end on July 9.
BRI is an initiative mooted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 as a development strategy that focused on connectivity and cooperation apart from boosting trade between countries by providing infrastructure such as ports, railway and highways.
Ong, on a working visit to the province, said based on the meeting held with representatives from Gansu Provincial Committee on Thursday, interest was expressed to conduct research and development on the quality of Malaysian halal products.
The committee was also keen to get universities and the research and development centre in the province, to be involved and assist Malaysia in conducting further research on producing quality food products such as fruits and even halal-related products.
“The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has also invited them to attend the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (Mihas) next year and to visit Malaysia more often to deliberate further on establishing the halal gateway,” he added.
Members of the Malaysian delegation to the four-day trade fair, comprising 90 representatives from 31 companies and various government organisations, were aggressively promoting halal products and services.
Meanwhile, MATRADE Chief Executive Officer Ir Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros pointed out that the reception, among Chinese patrons to the fair, for Malaysian halal products was very positive.
As demand of halal products were growing rapidly in this Muslim-majority province, he said MATRADE would continue to encourage more Malaysian halal companies to promote their products with a potential link to penetrate the market with the collaboration of local players from Lanzhou.
“Lanzhou has a huge potential especially when the Chinese government, through the BRI, was using the area as one of its halal and logistic hub in China, to penetrate the west.
“So, with the rate of concentration and effort being put in place to develop this area, it will become even more prominent when BRI becomes more matured,” he added.
Mohd Shahreen was elated that Malaysia was honoured as the country host at the event.
“It is really great for Malaysian halal products to get the recognition from the organiser apart from enjoying full coverage from the local media.
“This is a big plus for the Malaysian delegation to reach the potential market here, and beyond,” he added.
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s trade grew by 31.5 per cent to RM153.3 billion in May 2017 as against the RM116.6 billion recorded in the same month of last year, according to the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI).
Exports rose 32.5 per cent to RM79.4 billion and imports by 30.4 per cent to RM73.91 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM5.49 billion, the 235th consecutive month of a trade surplus, recorded since November 1997, the ministry said in a statement.
On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports and imports expanded by 10.2 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively.
“From January-May 2017, total trade grew by 25.4 per cent to RM722.89 billion, exports increased by 23.3 per cent to RM377.96 billion, while imports rose by 27.7 per cent to RM344.93 billion and the trade surplus stood at RM33.03 billion,” it said.
Overall, the better export performance in May 2017 was reflected in the positive growth in exports of manufactured goods which grew by RM16.43 billion (32.7 per cent) to RM66.61 billion compared to RM50.18 billion in the corresponding month a year ago.
The higher exports was on account of increased exports of electrical and electronics (E&E), petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, rubber, iron and steel products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as the manufacture of metal.
For instance, E&E products, valued at RM28.55 billion, constituted 36 per cent of total exports, an increase of 31.3 per cent from May 2016. Petroleum product exports jumped 88.2 per cent and were valued at RM7.94 billion, while comprising 10 per cent of total exports.
The exports of agriculture goods increased by 25.4 per cent to RM6.95 billion, underpinned by higher exports of palm oil which registered an increase of 25 per cent to RM4.2 billion, due to both higher Average Unit Value (AUV) and volume.
Exports of mining goods climbed 32 per cent to RM5.07 billion, spurred by higher exports of crude petroleum and also on account of greater AUV and volume.
Exports to ASEAN remained strong and jumped 34.1 per cent to RM42.2 billion and accounted for 27.5 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, buoyed by increased shipments of E&E products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as processed food.
On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports and imports increased by 13.2 per cent,14.6 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively.
In May 2017, trade with China increased by 32.3 per cent to RM25.21 billion and accounted for 16.4 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, as exports recorded the highest year-on-year growth since February 2010, surging by 51.5 per cent to RM10.73 billion. – BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR – The Singapore-Malaysia Joint Committee on Information and Communications Co-operation has begun a meeting today in the island republic to discuss ways and means to enhance co-operation in the fields of info-communications and media.
The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia said in a statement that the two-day meeting is co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information, Gabriel Lim, and the Secretary General of the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad.
At the Joint Committee meeting, officials from Malaysia’s Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information will discuss areas of co-operation in television and film production, info-communications media development, exchange of news, government communications and digital technology, it said.
Malaysia and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last year to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields.
In conjunction with the meeting, Singapore will also host the ‘Muzika Ekstravaganva’ (Muzika) tomorrow night. Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and Singapore Minister of Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim will be the guests of honour at the annual variety co-production.
Muzika, which has entered its 11th year, is jointly produced by Malaysia’s Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) and Singapore’s Mediacorp. The programme underscores the close ties and collaboration between officials, broadcasters and artistes of the two countries.
The audience can look forward to a night of star-studded performances at Muzika, which is set to the theme of ‘Love and Music’. Muzika will be broadcast simultaneously on Malaysia’s RTM TV2 and Mediacorp’s Suria channels from 9 pm.
‘Muzika reflects the longstanding and excellent cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore in the field of info-communications and media, the ministry statement said.
Meanwhile, Dr Sharifah Zarah said it was hoped that the outcome of this consultation would not only permit greater agency to agency cooperation in the fields of information and communications but also provide a set of action plans to be implemented expeditiously and successfully to translate the objectives of the MoU into vibrant and continuously evolving collaboration.
Lim said it was hoped that the committee would serve as a valuable platform to drive bilateral cooperation in the two fields.
He said the digital transformation development in the two countries would bring many exciting opportunities and also strengthen cooperation on common issues such as cyber security and digital literacy.
Through the Joint Committee, we can share our experiences, develop new partnerships and learn from one another and, in so doing, enhance the excellent relations between Singapore and Malaysia, he said.
KUALA LUMPUR – RAM Rating Services Bhd has revised upwards Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 5.2 per cent this year from initial expectation of 4.5 per cent.
In a statement today, the rating agency said, the revision was made after a better-than-expected growth performance of 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year as the economic recovery momentum was beginning to show signs of sustainability.
“Most of this upside stems from a positive turnaround in business sentiment, which has brought about more productive capacity building in the form of machinery and equipment investments,” it said. – Bernama
BANGKOK – The Malaysian Army and Royal Thai Army will further enhance existing ties and cooperation through the signing of the Terms of Reference (ToR).
Malaysian Army Chief General Datuk Seri Zulkiple Kassim said ToR would ensure the relationship between the two armies is expanded to include matters outside the General Border Committee (GBC).
“The Terms of Reference will open up more opportunities for both armies to further develop the existing ties and cooperation,” he told Bernama in an interview here Thursday.
He said it included personnel exchanges, social and community activities and joint exercises.
Closer ties between the army of Malaysia and Thailand would benefit the people of both countries,said Zulkiple.
The two sides, according to him, also planned to hold the “Army to Army Talk” programme under the ToR aimed at building closer networking between the army officers of the two countries, especially at the mid level.
He hoped the close relationship and strong network among the mid level army officers of Malaysia and Thailand, that was nurtured through the initiative, would endure and develop further particularly when they become the top brass.
“When they (Malaysian and Thai army officers) become superiors, the networking and ties among themselves will become closer because they are ‘old friends’,” he said.
The memorandum on the ToR was signed during his introductory visit on his Thai counterpart General Chalermchai Sittisart at the Thai Royal Army headquarters yesterday.
Zulkiple assumed the post of Chief of Army on Dec 16 last year.
Thai Royal Army in a statement yesterday said the Army Chiefs of Thailand and Malaysia pledged to improve the exchange of military information between the two countries and conduct joint patrols and checks along the common border.
Cooperation between both countries at the border would curb and fight terrorism threats, illegal border crossings, contraband smuggling, drug trafficking and others, he added.
PUTRAJAYA – The inaugural Malaysia-Bangladesh Bilateral Consultations will be held in Dhaka from 15 to 16 May 2017.
The Bilateral Consultations will be co-chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, Dato’ Ramlan Ibrahim, and the Foreign Secretary of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, His Excellency Md. Shahidul Haque. The Bilateral Consultations underlines the strong bilateral relations that have been established since 1972 and will provide an opportunity for both countries to exchange views on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Among the issues that are expected to be discussed during the Bilateral Consultations include trade and investment, human resource, science and technology, and cooperation on tourism, culture, sports and education as well as issues of mutual concern on regional and international cooperation.
Apart from the Bilateral Consultations, Dato’ Ramlan Ibrahim is expected to pay a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affair of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, His Excellency Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, on 16 May 2017.
Malaysia is optimistic that the Bilateral Consultations will further strengthen the existing friendly ties between Malaysia and Bangladesh not only in the areas of bilateral cooperation but also on regional and international issues.
SOURCE : Ministry of Foreign Affairs
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Name : AZREEY ABU KASIM
Division of Communications and Public Diplomacy
Email : [email protected]
SYDNEY – Malaysia and Australia will be more committed in addressing cross-border crimes, including on issues pertaining to illegal immigrants involving both countries, through border patrol training, exchange of intelligence information and closer cooperation.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said during his three-day working visit to Australia since Sunday, he had met the relevant Australian leaders to explain that Malaysia was not a transit country for illegal immigrants.
“Malaysia is also facing problems on illegal immigrants, and now there are 56,000 illegal immigrants from Myanmar (Rohingya) in the country,” he told Malaysian reporters before returning to Malaysia Tuesday.
During the visit, Ahmad Zahid paid a courtesy call on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as well as met his counter part, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
The visit was made to further strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and Australia on matters pertaining to illegal immigrants and addressing cross-border crimes.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said Australia was also interested in the deradicalisation programme on foreigners implemented by Malaysia.
Apart from that, he said, Malaysia would send officers from the relevant agencies to learn the Australian module on its border patrol, especially in curbing cross-border crimes, like smuggling of drugs and weapons, as well as human trafficking.
“All this while there is a perception by Australia that Malaysia is a transit country (for immigrants to enter Australia) and this visit is seen positive at rectifying the perception,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said he clarified that Malaysia and its neighbouring countries, like Indonesia and Thailand, were committed in addressing issues on illegal immigrants and cross-border crimes.
Malaysia, he said, would also further improve the standard operating procedures (SOP) of agencies involved in border patrol as part of efforts to address cross-border crime.
He said integration among the four Malaysian border agencies, namely the marine police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Malaysian Border Patrol Agency (AKSEM) would also be enhanced.
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