Low interest rate driver of M’sia economy
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Increased revenue from the fast-growing tourism industry, a low interest rates scenario and rising consumer confidence will remain major drivers for Malaysia’s growth.
This is despite the bleak outlook, particularly in Europe over the next several years, from which export-oriented Asean economies might not be spared.
These supportive factors will help Malaysia, which grew by 5.6 per cent last year, to maintain relatively commendable growth rates of 4.3 per cent this year, 4.4 in 2014 and 4.6 in 2015.
“Malaysia will continue to outperform the global economy which is good news,” Mark Billington, the Regional Director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said.
He said the low interest rates in Malaysia is also supporting private sector investment and increasing consumer confidence. The country’s key interest rate has remained at three per cent.
“ The good news for Malaysia at the moment is that low inflation means there is little pressure to raise interest rates, making investment attractive,” he told Bernama.
“One key to attracting global investment will be in ensuring transparency and global comparability in financial services, which in turn underpins business and market confidence,” said Billington.
He said Malaysia is likely to meet its aim of becoming a high income economy by 2020 but would to meet certain pre-requisites such as increasingly moving towards a knowledge and skills-based economy and maximising the focus on service provision rather than manufacturing.
“It also means attracting global businesses” and making Malaysia a top investment and business location through greater transparency, strong corporate governance as well as ease of doing business.
“If Malaysia has the right skills pool, it can become a global or regional economic hub” which means it would compete with its close neighbours by attracting the right kind of talent and industries.
“This means, being a competitive place to locate a business and an attractive place for workers to re-locate to and build a career in,” he said, adding that main barriers to Malaysia achieving its aspirations are the lack of the right skills and knowledge in the workforce as well as bureaucracy.
“ Growing the talent pool is not necessarily the problem as Malaysia’s young people are bright, adaptable and hardworking. But what remains the challenge is retaining what it currently has,” he added.