Usage of ringgit in trade deals will strengthen currency, economy - Ahmad Maslan

20 Oct 2023 09:33am
Pix for illustration for purpose only. - FILE PIX
Pix for illustration for purpose only. - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia needs to use the local currency in trade activities to ensure the value of the ringgit and the country's economy continues to be strong at the global level, said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

He said that widespread use of the local currency is able to control the fall in the value of the ringgit caused by external factors, particularly related to dependence on the United States (US) dollar.

"This is a big step forward in the future and the ringgit will not be tied to the ups and downs of the US dollar as it is said that the level of the economy depends on the rate of the ringgit against the US dollar.

"That’s not entirely true. The level of our economy depends on fluctuations in economic growth, the unemployment rate, the projected deficit or the level of inflation,” he told Bernama on Thursday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had previously said that the government planned to use a de-dollarisation approach to encourage trade between other countries using the ringgit currency.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Maslan when interviewed during the Ruang Bicara programme entitled 'Budget 2024: Madani Economy Reforms' on BernamaTV last night, said the government intends to implement an import substitution industry to reduce dependence on food imports.

He said the country needs to increase the use of local goods to ensure the stability of the ringgit which is currently at 4.76 against the US dollar.

"When the ringgit rate is at a low level, which is (at) 4.70 against the US dollar, the government wants to do import substitution, whereby it is hoped that through this method, we buy local goods more often and in large quantities.

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"When the value of the ringgit declines against the US dollar, we need to increase the use of local goods such as buying local goods, producing more local produce, encouraging people to travel within the country as well as foreign tourists to come to Malaysia in an effort to strengthen the value of the ringgit," he said.

At yesterday's close, the ringgit dropped to 4.7680/7710 against the US dollar. - BERNAMA