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Old September 6th, 2017, 08:50 AM   #3521
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MITI: Malaysia's Total Trade Breaches RM1 Trln For Jan-July 2017
Published on Wednesday, 06 September 2017 12:19


Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia’s total trade breached the RM1 trillion mark for the first seven months of 2017 at RM1.008 trillion, while expanding by 22.7 per cent from the corresponding period of 2016, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

It said trade had breached the RM1 trillion mark two months earlier than the normal trend.

“Expansion was supported mainly by trade with ASEAN, China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, India and Taiwan.

“Exports expanded by 22.3 per cent to RM529.68 billion, while imports rose by 23 per cent at RM478.71 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM50.97 billion,” it said in a statement today.

For the month of July, the ministry said exports maintained the steady growth momentum, recording a value of RM78.62 billion, rising by 30.9 per cent compared with a year ago.

It said exports posted a stronger year-on-year growth than imports for the third straight month and all major export products registered increases.

Electrical and electronic (E&E) led exports to register double-digit growth for the seventh straight month (+28.3 per cent) or RM6.15 billion, followed by mining goods, which expanded by 27.5 per cent to RM6.71 billion and agriculture goods (+14.8 per cent) at RM6.42 billion.

MITI said major exports in July 2017 were E&E products valued at RM27.91 billion, petroleum products (RM7.09 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM5.72 billion), palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (RM4.46 billion) and liquefied natural gas (RM3.79 billion).

As for imports in July, it increased by 21.8 per cent to RM70.59 billion and the three main categories of imports by end-use were intermediate goods, valued at RM39.9 billion, capital goods (RM9.18 billion) and consumption goods (RM5.99 billion).

“During the first seven months of 2017, imports were valued at RM478.71 billion, an increase of 23 per cent from the corresponding period of 2016.

“Intermediate goods were valued at RM278.71 billion, increasing by 25.6 per cent, capital goods (RM65.78 billion, ↑15.7 per cent) and consumption goods (RM40.35 billion, ↑5.1 per cent),” MITI said.-- BERNAMA
http://www.malaysiandigest.com/busin...july-2017.html
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Old September 7th, 2017, 07:04 AM   #3522
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Najib's White House visit a coup, says influential U.S. magazine
By TASNIM - September 7, 2017 @ 12:20pm
Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s visit to the White House next week is a “feat within the context of the bilateral relationship” between Malaysia and the United States.

The Diplomat associate editor Prashanth Parameswaran, in a piece published in the magazine’s website yesterday, said this was especially so since the initial forecast for US-Malaysia relations under President Donald Trump seemed to be gloomy, with Malaysian policymakers, like their regional counterparts, worrying about the implications of the so-called America First policy.

Such a policy, he said, appeared to be so with the nixing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the release of a trade hit-list, the questioning of the One China policy and the Trump travel ban.

“Yet as the Trump administration’s Asia policy began to take shape, convergence, as it often does, became clearer in certain areas like North Korea, eventually paving the way for Najib’s White House visit.

“There is no doubt that the visit itself is a feat within the context of the bilateral relationship.

“The last time Malaysia was granted a White House visit was in 2004 under former premier (Tun) Abdullah (Ahmad) Badawi, and this is Najib’s first-ever White House visit since coming to power nearly a decade ago,” said Prashanth, who writes mostly on Southeast Asia, Asian security affairs and US foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.

He said the fact that Najib was just the second Southeast Asian leader to visit the Trump White House, after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, this was partly a consequence of scheduling changes.

“Officials from both sides also had to do a lot of substantive work to get the visit through so early on in the Trump presidency, and so quickly as well,” he said.

Prashanth said while both sides were expected to make some headline-worthy progress in the heavily scrutinised visit, the true test for US-Malaysia relations lay less in the successful conduct of this interaction and more in the ability of both sides to manage the challenges likely to relations further down the line.

“For all the focus on Najib himself, the reality is that the United States and Malaysia have successfully cooperated on a range of issues under six prime ministers since the Southeast Asian state’s independence despite disagreements on matters such as economic policy, human rights and US foreign policy in the Middle East.”

Prashanth said even though bilateral ties had hit new heights under former president Barack Obama — with both sides elevating ties to the level of a comprehensive partnership and Malaysia becoming a member of key US-led initiatives, be it the TPP or the Global Coalition to Counter Islamic State — issues like human trafficking continued to pose complications for ties.

For Najib’s visit, he said, the official agenda itself will be presented as wide-ranging, in line with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties as well as the realities of the comprehensive partnership itself.

Top agenda items would include North Korea, counter-terrorism, maritime security, expected defence deals, but the timing of the visit, a day after the anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks, as well as Najib’s more private engagements, will make the visit seem “a bit security-heavy”.

But, Prashanth said the progress made in bilateral ties ought not to be dismissed, particularly at the beginning of a new US administration.

Much, he said, would rely on the ability of both sides to manage key challenges to relations further down the line.
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2...al-us-magazine
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Old September 8th, 2017, 08:27 AM   #3523
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Malaysia's Central Bank is in a sweet spot
By BLOOMBERG - September 7, 2017 @ 1:21pm
Quote:
* Economic growth is gaining momentum, inflation is moderating
* All economists forecast benchmark rate will be held at 3%

KUALA LUMPUR: (Bloomberg) Malaysia’s central bank is in a sweet spot.

Economic growth is gaining momentum, inflation is moderating, and the ringgit is headed for its first annual gain in five years.

After four quarters of expansion that beat expectations, Governor Muhammad Ibrahim said in August that “when economic growth is entrenched, and if inflation is essentially benign, it gives Bank Negara a bit more flexibility in terms of policy.” Inflation has eased every month since reaching an eight-year high in March.

All 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict the overnight policy rate will be held at 3 percent on Thursday. A separate survey last month showed analysts were split on a rate increase by end-2018. Bank Negara Malaysia has left borrowing costs unchanged since a surprise reduction in July last year.

“There were some market talks on whether Bank Negara might actually consider raising interest rates” following strong second-quarter gross domestic product growth, said Julia Goh, an economist at United Overseas Bank Ltd. in Kuala Lumpur. “But in light of what’s happening in the region, the geopolitical risks, North Korea uncertainty, I think Bank Negara will keep the rate unchanged for now.”

Here are key points to watch:

Growth Outlook

The economy has expanded faster than analysts predicted this year, helped by a global trade recovery that spurred exports as well as resilient domestic demand. The World Bank raised Malaysia’s growth forecast in June by the most in East Asia, projecting a 4.9 percent rate for 2017.

Click to read Malaysia GDP Growth Beats Forecasts as Economy Expands 5.8%

Inflation

Inflation spiked earlier this year due to higher fuel costs and reached 5.1 percent in March, the fastest pace since 2008. Price gains have since eased to 3.2 percent in July and are expected to average 3 percent to 4 percent this year.

Financial Risks

While the central bank hasn’t seen signs of financial imbalances emerging, the level of household debt is one of the highest in the region and Malaysia needs to be particularly careful, Muhammad said in July. The household debt-to-GDP ratio was 88.4 percent in 2016 compared with 89.1 percent in 2015.

Meanwhile, the ringgit has gained more than 5 percent against the U.S. dollar this year, heading for its first advance since 2012.

— By Chong Pooi Koon and with assistance by Michael J Munoz
https://www.nst.com.my/business/2017...ank-sweet-spot
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Old September 8th, 2017, 08:29 AM   #3524
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BNM's International Reserves At US$100.5 Billion As At Aug 30, 2017
Last update: 06/09/2017

Quote:
UALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 (Bernama) -- Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) international reserves amounted to US$100.5 billion (RM431.7 billion) as at Aug 30, 2017, compared with US$100.4 billion (RM431.0 billion) registered as at Aug 15, 2017.

"The reserves position is sufficient to finance 7.8 months of retained imports and is 1.1 times the short-term external debt," said BNM in a statement today.

The main components of the international reserves were foreign currency reserves (US$94.0 billion), International Monetary Fund reserves position (US$0.8 billion), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (US$1.2 billion), gold (US$1.5 billion) and other reserve assets (US$3.0 billion).

The assets included gold and foreign exchange and other reserves, including SDRs (RM431.655 billion), Malaysian government papers (RM5.355 billion), deposits with financial institutions (RM6.074 billion), loans and advances (RM7.822 billion), land and buildings (RM2.113 billion) and other assets (RM7.382 billion).

-- BERNAMA
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/bu...php?id=1388927
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Old September 9th, 2017, 09:47 AM   #3525
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BMI: Malaysia third-best in Asia for industrial investment
Friday September 8, 2017
12:03 PM GMT+8


Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Global market risk and industry analyst Business Monitor International (BMI) assessed Malaysia as the third most attractive emerging market for industry investment in Asia, behind UAE and China.

It also put Malaysia in the top 10th percentile of global markets (including developed markets) for infrastructure, power and food and drink, in its industry outlook report released today.

However, the country’s traditionally dominant oil-and-gas sector was ranked lower due to weaker rewards and more substantial risks.

“Malaysia will be a global growth outperformer in the coming years. Growth will be driven by an expanding workforce, further improvements in business environment and continued Asean economic integration,” said the report.

BMI highlighted Malaysia’s power sector, backed by a “strong coal pipeline” as the second most attractive market in its Global Power Risk/Reward Index (RRI) and first in Asian rankings.

It cited strong macroeconomic and demographic fundamentals driving power demand and capacity growth in the country, with a competitive risk profile supported by strong institutions and friendly business environment.

“We forecast total power generation to grow by an annual average of 5.2 per cent over 2017-2021. Coal will be the driving force as the government looks capitalise on cheap regional coal feedstock, for instance from Indonesia and Australia.

“Domestic firm KKB Engineering, China’s State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design & Research Institute Co Ltd (SNPDRI) and Japan’s Mitsui and Chugoku Electric are among the firms set to drive overall investment and capacity growth,” said the report.

Renewable energy is also expected to expand from a low base with a forecasted annual average growth of 11.7 per cent from 2017 to 2021.

The RRI report also ranked Malaysia as Asia’s top infrastructure market due to growing inbound investment, largely from China and sustained fiscal expenditures on infrastructure
.

This was backed by Malaysia’s expanding rail network and China’s support on port and industrial developments in Kuantan.

“The country’s active and expanding project pipeline is exemplified by the rail sector, where there is ongoing preparatory work for the RM60 bilionn (US$13.8 billion) Singapore-Malaysia High-Speed Railway and the RM55 billion (US$12.7 billion) East Coast Rail Line, as well as expansions to Kuala Lumpur’s rail transit network,” said the report.

However, BMI stated that transparency and corruption issues remain a concern and can affect positions of government-linked investments.

Malaysia’s oil-and-gas sector is still grappling with low oil prices, which is affecting the nation’s approach to boosting oil production through deepwater developments and marginal field developments as well as its Enhanced Oil Recovery programmes.

The report cited limited potential rewards in the mature oil and gas sector is dragging down the industry’s overall RRI score and that the sector’s production is also reaching its peak.

“Developments sanctioned prior to the 2014 oil price decline will boost production until 2018/2019 and we forecast crude oil and condensates production to reach 791,000 barrels a day (b/d) in 2018, up from an estimated 588,000b/d in 2015.

“Nonetheless, oil production declines will resume after 2019 as low oil prices dissuade new financial investment decisions on large greenfield developments. Production will fall to 583,000b/d by 2026,” said the report

Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/mo...wbMpW8TeplS.99
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Old September 10th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #3526
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Bank Negara, Austrac to co-organise FIU Codeathon 2017
By Bernama - August 28, 2017 @ 5:23pm



Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), together with Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac), will be co-organising the first International Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) Codeathon 2017 from November 18-19 here.

In a statement today, the central bank said the codeathon aimed to provide a platform for the financial intelligence communities, law enforcement agencies and regulators to engage with technologies experts in gaining greater insight on new technologies, techniques and ideas to address terrorism financing challenges.

“The outcomes of the codeathon, which may be presented in various forms including live applications or prototypes, will serve as precursors in constructing new and innovative digital solutions to curb the emergence of terrorism financing,” it said.

BNM pointed out that the two-day event would be held in conjunction with the third Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) Summit, which will take place on Nov 20 -23, 2017, as part of the continuous effort to integrate and maximise the benefits of information technology in countering terrorism financing.

“The codeathon is expected to see the participation from the FIUs, financial technology and regulatory technology communities, as well as all individuals.

“The winners and outcomes of the codeathon will be revealed at the Innovation Forum of the CTF Summit,” it said.
https://www.nst.com.my/business/2017/08/273797/bank-negara-austrac-co-organise-fiu-codeathon-2017
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Old September 12th, 2017, 07:46 PM   #3527
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Malaysia on the right path to productivity-driven economy
By HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN - September 12, 2017 @ 1:10pm


Quote:
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is on the right path for a productivity-driven economy as it seeks to fully utilise aspects from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

Malaysian Productivity Corporation (MPC) chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said productivity is the key factor to breach the frontiers towards Industry 4.0 robust productivity initiatives.

"This will equip our citizens to face a new era of industrialisation," he said in his speech at MPC's International Forum on Productivity, here, today.

He said Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 4.2 per cent in 2016 was driven by labour productivity of 3.5 per cent.

"This encouraging trend has been observed since 2014, indicating the country's economic growth is gradually moving away from being labour-intensive and towards digital and technology-driven factors," he said.

The forum held in collaboration with the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), is themed 'Challenging the Frontier, Empowering People’ and is aimed to provide opportunities for stakeholders with global perspective to share their experiences.

The forum will also address policy challenges for higher productivity growth and discuss the implementation of productivity-enhancing programmes.

Azman said in order to boost and sustain the Malaysia's productivity, the government has also launched the Malaysia Productivity Blueprint (MPB) with the objective of achieving a 3.7 per cent productivity growth target, as was set in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP).

The blueprint presents a holistic approach towards unlocking the potential of productivity of the nation by addressing productivity challenges at national, sectoral and enterprise levels, he added.

"To transform the economy, the government is currently implementing the recommendations of the MPB through five strategic thrusts.

"The thrusts are to create manpower for the future, spearhead the digital drive and innovation, ensure industry accountability towards productivity, build a strong ecosystem and put in place a strong implementation mechanism," he added.

The two-day forum, will see attendance by 300 participants comprising industry representatives, trade associations, government officials and academicians from 14 APO countries.

A series of knowledge sharing sessions will also be held featuring productivity experts from the United States, Taiwan, Germany, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.

Azman also hoped the forum which will see the meeting of minds from various fields and cultures will generate new ideas to address policy challenges and implementation towards achieving higher productivity growth.

"APO collaboration has enabled MPC to continuously serve the country's public and private organisations by introducing various productivity improvement programmes.

"It is hoped that through this forum, knowledge and best practices shared could be adopted for increasing efficiency of the government and the business in the respective countries," he added.

Also present were MPC director-general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain.
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2...driven-economy
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Old September 14th, 2017, 07:55 AM   #3528
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Business
Trademark-intensive industries directly contribute 30 pct to GDP
September 14, 2017, Thursday

Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR: Trademark-intensive industries in Malaysia have generated 30 per cent direct and 60 per cent indirect contributions to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), said the International Trademark Association (INTA) study released here yesterday.

Its chief representative Asia-Pacific, Seth Hays, said the study, which covered 2012 to 2015, was conducted by Frontier Economics, a leading economic consultancy in Europe.

He said the study showed that there was a direct correlation between trademark-intensive and non-trademark intensive industries.

“Trademark-intensive industries in Malaysia, which comprised manufacturing of computers, electronics, and related equipment, accounted for about 19 per cent of total manufacturing value-added.

“They contributed 55 per cent to exports and provided 24 per cent of the total workforce,” said Hays at the presentation of ‘The Economics Contributions of Trademark-intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand’ report here yesterday.

Hays said the study indicated that of the countries surveyed, trademarks had the most significant effect in Malaysia.

“As we explore the long-term economic and social implications of trademarks and related intellectual property rights, it becomes increasingly important for public and private sectors to scale up engagement on this issue, as well as back government efforts to boost trademark and brand development and protection,” he said.

INTA defines trademark-intensive industries as those that have an above average use of trademarks per employee.

The study aims to assess the economic contributions of trademark-intensive industries in the five Asean countries which between them account for nearly 90 per cent of the Asean community’s combined GDP.

Meanwhile, Malaysian INTA member, Michael CM Soo, said the study was commendable and should be used by INTA members in Malaysia to enhance their capacity for innovation, research and development, including increasing the level of investments and job creation. — Bernama
http://www.theborneopost.com/2017/09...30-pct-to-gdp/
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Old September 18th, 2017, 09:45 AM   #3529
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Govt on track to achieve 3% budget deficit, eyes taxing Facebook, Google
ECONOMY
Monday, 18 Sep 2017 11:40 AM MYT



Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is on track to achieve budget deficit of 3% of GDP this year, Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said on Monday.

Malaysia studying ways to tax companies that have business in country but book their revenue overseas, he said at a conference.

He was citing examples of Facebook, Uber and Google.

Speaking to reporters at same event, Director General of Customs Customs Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholas said the Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 will be amended and tabled when Parliament reconvenes next month to enable the government to collect billions of ringgit in taxes from foreign companies operating in Malaysia under the digital economy.

This includes income tax and goods and services tax; expected tax collection from these service providers amounts to several billion ringgit
," said Subromaniam.

In another development, Mohd Irwan said the Customs Department may be corporatised by January next year, after a delay due to implementation of the goods and services tax (GST),

"It's in the process as we speak. By January 2018, I hope we will have a corporatised Customs Department," he said at the GST Conference 2017 in Kuala Lumpur on Monday. - Agencies

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/b...73LakpiSyzm.99
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Old Yesterday, 08:14 AM   #3530
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Business
SMEs contribution to GDP increases to 36.6 per cent in 2016
September 22, 2017, Friday


Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR: The contribution of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased slightly to 36.6 per cent last year from 36.3 per cent in 2015, the Department of Statistics said.

It said that at constant 2010 prices, the value added by SMEs rose to RM405.5 billion compared with RM385.6 billion in 2015.

“The services, manufacturing and agriculture sectors were the key drivers in gearing up the SME performance for 2016, contributing 59.6 per cent, 21.6 per cent and 11.2 per cent to SME’s GDP, respectively,” the department said in a statement yesterday.

It said the growth in value added for SMEs in the services sector registered 6.4 per cent compared with 6.6 per cent in 2015.

“This was supported by finance, insurance, real estate and business services sub-sector which registered a growth of 5.9 per cent compared with 5.5 per cent in 2015,” it said.

The growth of SMEs in the manufacturing sector dropped 1.2 per cent to 4.8 per cent in 2016 from that of 2015, while growth in the food, beverages and tobacco sub-sector increased 2.8 per cent from 2.6 per cent previously.

Meanwhile, growth in petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products moderated to 5.4 per cent compared with 6.1 per cent in 2015, it said.

“Non-metallic mineral products, basic metal and fabricated metal products registered a growth of 6.2 per cent in 2016, down from 7.5 per cent the previous year,” the department said, adding that SMEs in the construction sector recorded a growth of 6.8 per cent in value added, compare with 7.6 per cent in 2015.

The specialised construction activities and non-residential buildings underpinned the SME momentum for construction, it said.

It said the services and manufacturing sectors maintained its stronghold as the prominent economic activities for SMEs in Malaysia, contributing more than 70 per cent to GDP. — Bernama
http://www.theborneopost.com/2017/09...-cent-in-2016/
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