Man­u­fac­tur­ing will con­tinue to drive coun­try’s ex­ports and econ­omy, says deputy min­is­ter

New Straits Times - - NEWS - LIDIANA ROSLI bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

THE In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry is con­fi­dent of Malaysia re­port­ing be­tween 4.8 and 4.9 per cent growth for last year.

Deputy min­is­ter Dr Ong Kian Ming said the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor would con­tinue to drive the coun­try’s ex­ports and econ­omy de­spite the on­go­ing United States-China trade dis­pute.

Bank Ne­gara Malaysia is due to re­lease the fourth-quar­ter and full-year gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) data to­day.

“We will take note of the re­cent in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion in­dex fig­ures, and some banks such as the Stan­dard Char­tered have shown op­ti­mism about the GDP fig­ure,” said Ong af­ter a lun­cheon talk or­gan­ised by the Malaysian In­dus­trial Devel­op­ment Fi­nance Bhd, here, yes­ter­day.

Ong also com­mented on the Malaysian In­sti­tute of Eco­nomic Re­search’s (MIER) re­cent sur­vey, which showed a dip in De­cem­ber 2018 busi­ness sen­ti­ment in­dex.

“I think the busi­ness con­fi­dence in­dex is based on sur­veys, and the sur­veys may not be to­tally re­flec­tive of the num­bers but of course, we need to be con­cerned about the dip in busi­ness sen­ti­ment.

“As long as we can ad­dress those con­cerns with good poli­cies and good fig­ures, I think we can con­vince the busi­ness com­mu­nity,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to MIER, the con­sumer sen­ti­ment in­dex fell 10.7 points to 96.8 in Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber last year, from 107.5 in the pre­ced­ing quar­ter.

The busi­ness con­di­tion in­dex, which tracks do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity, dropped to 95.3 points, 13.5 points lower than in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

Ong was pos­i­tive on the es­tab­lish­ment of the Eco­nomic Ac­tion Coun­cil, say­ing it would al­low his min­istry to con­trib­ute views on the coun­try’s eco­nomic poli­cies.


Deputy In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Dr Ong Kian Ming (sec­ond from left) at a lun­cheon talk or­gan­ised by the Malaysian In­dus­trial Devel­op­ment Fi­nance Bhd (MIDF) in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day. With him are (from left) MIDF Amanah In­vest­ment Bank Bhd chair­man Datuk Az­izan Ab­dul Rah­man, MIDF Group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Charon War­dini Mokhzani and Ac­quro Sdn Bhd founder Dr Arif­fin Ya­haya (right).

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