Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Economic impact to be felt next year only: Najib

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia will likely feel the impact of the current global economic turmoil by next year but the country will not be as hard hit compared to other nations, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

Najib, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said the nation’s diverse economic base is among the factors that would cushion the financial crisis’ blow.

“Other factors include our resilient economic players and some structural changes we made to the economy since the previous Asian financial crisis 10 years ago,” he said Wednesday when launching the Sabah International Business Conference and Expo at the 1Borneo hypermall here.

Najib said the Government had however geared itself for any eventuality and is following closely the financial turmoil that had seriously affected the economies of developed nations.

He said among the measures the Government is looking at to maintain economic growth is liberalising certain categories within the services sector.

The Government hopes that through liberalisation, Malaysia can attract more investments and generate more employment as well as further strengthen the resilience and competitiveness of our companies, Najib said.

He added that the services sectors cover diverse activities including the setting up of regional establishments, research and development, integrated market support services, outsourcing, information technology and its related services such as creative media.

Due attention should also be given to services in the resource based industry which could act as a catalyst to some downstream activities and the improvement of certain products' value-chain, Najib added.

The liberalisation of the services sector is necessary to further encourage the flow foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country, Najib said, adding that Malaysia was ranked sixth in terms of FDI into south, east and South-East Asia in 2007 with the nation receiving US$8.4bil in 2007 compared to US$6.04bil the year before, representing a nearly 39% hike.

However FDI outflows from the country had jumped by nearly 82% from RM21bil to RM38bil during the same period, Najib said, adding that Malaysian companies investing abroad had contributed to the outflow.


The Star