Less con­cern given to real eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors, says Jomo


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is show­ing less con­cern over the coun­try’s real eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors, but rather fo­cus­ing on the fi­nan­cial in­di­ca­tors, said for­mer se­nior United Na­tions of­fi­cial and econ­o­mist Jomo Kwame Sun­daram ( pix).

“We are not very in­ter­ested in the fu­ture (of) agri­cul­ture, we do not seem to be very con­cerned about the fact that the coun­try is dein­dus­tri­al­is­ing, in terms of the share of the econ­omy, which is con­trib­uted by man­u­fac­tur­ing; or the fact that fewer work­ers are work­ing in man­u­fac­tur­ing (in­dus­try),” he told re­porters on the side­lines of “Malaysian Cap­i­tal­ism, in Com­par­a­tive Per­spec­tive” con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

“We are all very happy with ev­ery­body (be­ing) in ser­vices. We can have re­dis­tri­bu­tion through ser­vices, but it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that we are ac­tu­ally adding to the econ­omy,” he added.

Jomo is Vis­it­ing Se­nior Fel­low, Khaz­anah Re­search In­sti­tute, and Tun Hus­sein Onn Chair in In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, In­sti­tute of Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies of Malaysia.

The two-day con­fer­ence is jointly or­gan­ised by KRI, the Em­bassy of France and the Malaysia-France Univer­sity Cen­tre, with the sup­port of In­sti­tut Fran­cais.

Cur­rently, Malaysia is ranked fourth in the world as a man­u­fac­tur­ing base but in terms of the adop­tion of soft­ware, tech­nol­ogy and in­te­gra­tion, Malaysia still lags be­hind.

Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in con­junc­tion with the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum on Asean last June, In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mustapa Mo­hamed said man­u­fac­tur­ing con­sti­tutes 24% of the coun­try’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) and is an im­por­tant com­po­nent in terms of con­tri­bu­tion to growth.

“Al­most 80% of ex­ports come from this sec­tor... em­ploy­ment as well. Man­u­fac­tur­ing is cen­tral to our econ­omy,” Mustapa said.

On the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ing con­di­tions in Malaysia, shown by the head­line Nikkei Malaysia Man­u­fac­tur­ing Pur­chas­ing Man­agers’ In­dex that came in at 47.2 in May, Mustapa said the gov­ern­ment has fac­tored in such a slow­down in its GDP pro­jec­tion of 4-4.5% this year.

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