Azmin: Signs of economic recovery seen in 2Q

NIBONG TEBAL: The government is awaiting the gross domestic product (GDP) performance for the second quarter of 2021 (Q2) before deciding whether to revise its target of between 6.0 per cent and 7.5 per cent growth this year, as the economy is seeing signs of recovery in the current quarter.

Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Finance Ministry were currently looking at the details of the Q2 performance, given the ongoing total lockdown would have some effects on the economy.

“However, that was the decision (total lockdown) we needed to take to ensure the government can continue to protect the people. We cannot compromise people’s lives even though it has a negative effect on the economy.

“This year, we are seeing signs of recovery in Q2 as trade performance and foreign direct investment are coming in, reflecting the confidence level of foreign investors, and that they will continue invest in Malaysia,” he told a press conference after visiting the Batu Kawan Industrial Park Vaccination Cluster here, today.

Citing an example, he said last week, one of the main companies in Austria, AT&S decided to invest RM8.5 billion in Malaysia by setting up a new facility in the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah to produce high-end printed circuit boards and integrated circuit.

He said if the country could accelerate the immunisation programme and reach herd immunity, it would have a positive effect on the economic recovery.

Mohamed Azmin said BNM may announce whether there is a revision to this year’s growth target when it releases the Q2 GDP results.

“Generally, we are seeing recovery signs, that is why we need to reach herd immunity soon so that we can achieve sustainable economic growth,” he said.

The Batu Kawan Industrial Park Vaccination Cluster is part of the Public-Private Partnership COVID-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas), which was rolled out simultaneously in Selangor, Penang, Johor and Sarawak yesterday as part of the pilot programme.

Azmin said some 150,000 doses of vaccines would be made available under the Pikas pilot programme and the allocation would be increased from July onwards so that more vaccination centres, including in other states, could be set up.

So far, he said more than 1,000 companies with over 150,000 workers had applied to take part in Pikas.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was present, said besides the Batu Kawan Industrial Park Vaccination Cluster here, another vaccination centre under Pikas is ready to operate at Equatorial Hotel on June 28. – Bernama