Progressive economic growth to take M'sia out of the woods, says fund manager

19 Feb 2023 11:28am
Skyline of Kuala Lumpur
Skyline of Kuala Lumpur
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia is expected to rebound strongly from the global slowdown underpinned by progressive local economic growth as well as promising global economic performance forecast post-pandemic, according to a fund manager.

Principal Malaysia chief executive officer and country head Munirah Khairuddin said the past three years have seen many changes to the global landscape, including geopolitical tensions, changing world governments, and volatile financial markets, that caused financial distress to many, and Malaysians were not spared.

"While we are optimistic of the economic growth, we remain cautious over existing global conflicts and the probability of escalation such as in the Russia-Ukraine war as well as inflation rate in the country,” she said in an exclusive interview with Bernama.

She added that while recession fears are still looming, the worst is over for many as the majority of markets have shown strong signs of economic rebound driven by China’s economic reopening after a long closure due to its zero-Covid policy.

"The reopening of China will re-ignite the recovery of the largest economy in Asia and second largest globally. Opportunities await in Asia, particularly within the renewables and tourism sectors, so long as the country continues to empower the small and medium enterprise and business sector to attract more foreign direct investments (FDI).

"While Malaysia will continue to experience a volatile market especially for equities due to global circumstances, it will continue to gain traction as the market has been undervalued,” she said.

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority approved total FDI of RM392.9 billion between 2018 and 2021, of which RM300.5 billion or 76.5 per cent had been realised as at end-2021, while major investments were inked in 2022, including with Samsung and AMD.

In terms of the local market outlook, Munirah said that with the renewed political stability post-15th general election, risks have subsided and investor confidence is being renewed.

"On policy direction, which will become clearer with the tabling of Budget 2023 soon, we understand that the government will pursue a gradual fiscal consolidation path without compromising development spending, while at the same time affording a reasonable level of subsidies and other forms of assistance to the masses.
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"We also expect Malaysia to play catch-up to recent positive shift in global investor sentiment on the back of easing monetary tightening measures and China’s reopening,” she said.

Budget 2023 under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration will be retabled on Feb 24 during the current parliamentary sitting, focusing on spurring economic growth and investments while protecting the people. - Bernama

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