Mohd Irwan: Malaysia's 2017 GDP growth can hit 5%

CYBERJAYA: Malaysia's economy can grow 5% or more this year, based on the country's first-half performance, said Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

"The country's economy is performing well, and I personally think we can achieve 5% or more in GDP growth, backed by the strengthening economic environment, the increase in exports and investments, and job creation.

"We also see the oil price stabilising at between US$47 and US$50 per barrel, and I think the ringgit will be getting better," he said, commenting on a recent Bloomberg report, "The Ringgit Is Easily Asia'ss Strongest Currency", which said the ringgit was the most stable major Asian currency during the first quarter of this year.

Malaysia's economy recorded 5.6% in the first quarter of this year, boosted by strong domestic demand and private expenditure.

Mohd Irwan, who is also chairman of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), was speaking to reporters after launching MaGIC's Global Accelerator Programme in Cyberjaya on Tuesday.

He said Malaysia's economy was never "in doom and gloom", and that the economic slowdown was due to the volatility in oil price and global market sentiment.

Asked if Malaysia would revise the GDP projection, Mohd Irwan said, the Government was meeting with the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and Bank Negara to see whether there was a need to revise it in Budget 2018, scheduled to be tabled on Oct 27.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in his blog posting that Malaysia was able to record achievements that it could be proud of despite challenges such asthe global market uncertainty and falling oil prices.

He said that overall, the country's economic performance for the first quarter of 2017 remained stable and strong, expanding by 5.6%, with foreign direct investment rising to RM17 billion.

Source - Bernama