Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP), the key economic indicator for 2013, is expected to be in the range of 5% to 6%, driven by government support and private consumption, private investment and public expenditure.
“I believe we can achieve 5% in the first-half, unless something very extraordinary takes place in the global economy — but we cannot predict that,” said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah to the media in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Ahmad Husni qualified the 5% when he said: “We believe that we can easily get the 5% growth this year because the first-quarter (1Q) was 4.1%.”
Commenting on the country’s current deficits, Ahmad Husni said that it should be kept at about 4% this year and subsequently reduced to 3.5% next year.
“We are looking at both ways, revenue and expenditure,” said Ahmad Husni.
Earlier, in his opening speech at the 17th Malaysian Banking Summit, Ahmad Husni said that in the 1Q of 2013, total approved investments stood at RM49.3 billion, an increase of 44% over the same period of 2012.
Ahmad Husni said the financial sector is the lifeblood of the economy, playing an important role in Malaysia’s economic development, employing over 145,000 people and contributing 12 % to Malaysia’s GDP.
Ahmad Husni reminded the audience about the importance of “financial inclusion” which is a part of the Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020 developed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to ensure equal access to financial services for all.
Ahmad Husni said six of the eight Malaysian banking groups are present in 22 countries, a testament to the progress of the Malaysian financial sector.
Concluding his speech, Ahmad Husni emphasised that the Financial Services Act 2013 to provide BNM with adequate power to respond effectively to new and emerging risk in the future financial world that is expected to become more dynamic and complex.
“We need to be mindful of other providers for financial products and services which are not adequately supervised,” said Ahmad Husni.