KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy will still be healthy and resilient next year even though it is facing the problem of lower crude oil prices and a weaker currency, said Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
He said the country could still rely on other robust sectors such as exports and tourism.
“Furthermore, additional revenue is expected from the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) and lower oil subsidy,” he told reporters after the launch of Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV)’s new corporate strategy to expand its financing portfolio with a RM200mil allocation yesterday.
Also present at the event was MDV chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar.
The World Bank has cut its 2015 growth forecast for Malaysia’s economy to 4.7% from an earlier estimate of 4.9% on expectations of slower export growth and investments in the oil and gas industry as well as moderate private consumption next year.
It is reported that removing fuel subsidies would unlock RM19bil annually from government expenditure based on Budget 2015’s allocation of RM21bil and after removing RM2bil for liquefied petroleum gas.
For this year, Ahmad said according to ministry experts and Bank Negara reports, the economy was still stable with anticipated growth of between 5% and 6%.
On GST, he said 224,813 firms had registered for the new tax scheme as of Dec 17, beating the year-end target of 220,000 companies.
“We expect the revenue from GST will be higher with this new development. The Government was expecting RM23bil in revenue from just 150,000 companies,” he said.Meanwhile, MDV’s new corporate strategy will see the technology financier expanding its financing portfolio to other high-growth sectors, namely, nanotechnology, advanced materials, robotics and artificial intelligence, electrical and electronics, aviation and aerospace, maintenance repair and overhaul, oil and gas, and transportation.
MDV has allocated RM200mil in financing to support these new sectors.
Zarinah highlighted that in its 12 years of operations, MDV disbursed over RM8.8bil in financing to more than 700 technology projects undertaken by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“We see significant opportunities for SMEs in these high-growth areas that will enable us to expand our scope of financing to facilitate the objectives of enhancing value of the various industries in these sectors and creating employment opportunities.
“MDV is pleased to be able to play a role in enabling the optimisation of opportunities offered by these various initiatives to facilitate the achievement of Malaysia’s vision of climbing up the value chain to increase the country’s global competitiveness and to become a high-income, developed nation.
“We hope MDV’s role in this regard will contribute towards laying the foundation for the development of robust high-growth sectors that will drive long-term economic growth,” she said.
In conjunction with the launch of the new corporate strategy, MDV entered into a collaboration agreement with Unit Peraju Agenda Bumiputra for new entrepreneurs start up scheme or superb programme with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre for the Cerebro project.