This year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to exceed the initial projection of between 6.5 percent and seven percent, said the Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said, with sentiment remaining positive at the end of 2022 as well as encouraging economic performance following the reopening of the economy in line with the transition phase to endemic Covid-19, the unemployment rate has also decreased to 3.6 percent in October 2022.
“Even so, it still hasn’t recovered to the level of full employment before the Covid-19 crisis, which was 3.3 percent, and there is concern about the unemployment rate among youth under the age of 25, which is still high, reaching 10 percent,” explained the Prime Minister.
Anwar said this when presenting the Consolidated Fund (Expenditure) Bill 2022 and the Temporary Development Expenditure Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat, on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, he said, the tangle of geopolitical conflicts that occurred suppressed global inflation and weakened economic growth while the increase in commodity and food prices also had a negative impact on the cost of living of Malaysians.
According to him, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected global economic growth to decrease from 3.2 percent for 2022 to 2.7 percent in 2023.
“All parties need to be with the government in formulating a comprehensive approach. The super-rich and conglomerates who reap huge profits following the rise in commodity prices and government subsidies must also contribute towards the well-being of the people, especially B40, M40 and small traders,” said Anwar.
For example, he added, the company Padiberas Nasional Bhd (BERNAS) has agreed to contribute RM10 million for this year and RM50 million for the next year to poor rice farmers.
The government is clear that as soon as possible it will strengthen economic indicators, restore investor confidence and rebuild Malaysia.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister expressed his emotion at the welcome and support of foreign countries that gave commitment and cooperation to explore the potential of trade and investment with Malaysia.
“For example, the Sultan of Brunei (Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah) offered for the Brunei Investment Agency to explore new investment opportunities in Malaysia and this would benefit both countries,” explained Anwar.
He added that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (MITI) and the Ministry of Finance were also tasked with improving the ease of doing business and increasing quality investment towards generating high-income employment opportunities for Malaysians, especially for the youth.
At the same time, the regulation of foreign workers has also been centralized in the Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) to ensure that industry players can thrive, especially in the commodity, construction and tourism sectors.