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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Malaysia confident of surpassing 5pc GDP growth in Q4

NOVEMBER 26, 2013
People buy new cloth, scarf, and food for Hari Raya at Pasar
Tani Kuala Besut, July 16, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — The government is confident that Malaysia can surpass five per cent in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter of this year.

This is given that government investment is currently still at a low level.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the five per cent GDP growth in the third quarter and among the highest globally, demonstrated the government’s seriousness in consolidating its fiscal position.

“The recent upgrade by Moody’s showed that it had noticed the seriousness on the part of the country in doing so, particularly when we reduced subsidies through the subsidy rasionalisation programme.

“During the tabling of the Budget 2014, we also announced implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

“Both are key to enhancing the wealth of the country. If we manage to reduce subsidies by more than RM20 billion annually, it means having sufficient savings for development purposes, while the introduction of the GST increases revenue,” he added,

Ahmad Husni told reporters this after delivering his keynote address at the ASEAN Wealth Management Summit here, today.

According to Husni, Malaysia is on track to achieving a GDP growth of between 4.5 per cent to five per cent this year, with the nine months GDP at 4.5 per cent.

Earlier, in his speech, Husni expressed belief that Malaysia can develop the Islamic wealth management industry successfully as the Sukuk industry in the country was still in its infancy.

“Kuala Lumpur is now the world’s premier centre for the issuance of Sukuk. I do not foresee any reason why we cannot achieve the same position for the Islamic wealth management industry.

“But we cannot take our pole position in Islamic finance for granted either. While our dominant hold on the sukuk market is intact, we know that other international financial centres are eyeing a share of it,” he added.

While regulatory issues are for the competent authorities to resolve, Husni said pro-active measures must be taken by members of the industry themselves, to ensure talent is continuously developed and along with it, research and development of Islamic finance products and services.

The two-day Asean Wealth Management Summit 2013 is hosted by the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC), in association with the Financial Times.

Themed, “How the Rise of South East Asia Heralds a New Era for Global Wealth Management”, the summit which began today, brings together 25 speakers and panelists from both the domestic and regional financial markets. — Bernama

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