Malaysia on track for 3-4% GDP growth this year despite Omicron

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is on track to achieve the targeted gross domestic product (GDP) growth of three to four per cent this year despite the emergence of the Omicron variant, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

“We are monitoring the situation closely, (but) we are still confident that we are on track to meet this year’s GDP target of between three and four per cent,” he said during an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia programme aired today.

Tengku Zafrul was responding to a question on whether the Omicron variant would pose further downside risk to the Malaysian economy.

The minister stressed that the government is committed to safeguard the people and ensure business continuity given their importance to the economy and it will always provide strong support to the ecosystem.

This is reflected by the eight economic stimulus packages worth RM530 billion launched over the last two years to address the crisis stemming from COVID-19, he said.

“Should there be a need for us to look into helping those people and businesses that are affected, I think the government has to do what it needs to do,” he pointed out.

Commenting on global concerns over inflation, Tengku Zafrul said Malaysia is not spared in experiencing higher inflation rate following supply chain disruptions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it would take time for the global supply chain to be back to where it was before.

“In terms of manufacturing, Malaysia has been lucky. Our export has gone up by 25 per cent in the first 10 months of this year compared to last year.

“We have played an integral role in the supply chain, and trade as well has also improved for Malaysia, so we stand to benefit from the opening up of the economy,” he explained. – Bernama