Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pragmatic policies

PRAGMATIC and dynamic economic
policies are expected to help steer
Malaysia through anticipated prolonged
uncertainties in the global

The global backdrop is not as
pleasing as the domestic economy
would prefer it to be, what with
crude oil expected to remain pricey
and lasting peace still elusive in the
Middle East.

The Government, however, is
bullish that its pragmatic management
of the economy will expand
gross domestic product (GDP) by 6
per cent next year, a slight increase
from the 5.8 per cent year-on-year
expansion forecast for 2006.

The private sector will continue to
lead in expanding the economy,
while the Government formulates
economic diversification policies,
promotes new sources of growth
and creates an environment conducive
for doing business for both
domestic and foreign investors.

On its part, the Government will
seek balanced growth across the
board. It wants to improve the government
machinery and all services,
and enhance profitability and
competitiveness of manufacturers
and exporters as well as the livelihood
of the general population.

No section of society is expected to
be left out as the Government continues
to seek ways to narrow
socio-economic disparities between
the urban and rural folk. Priority
will be given to reducing hardcore
poverty and improving access to
basic needs.

Technology and knowledge will
form the backbone in Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s
administration ’s efforts to seek new
sources of growth and wealth.
Malaysians can expect more programmes
and projects in technology
and knowledge-intensive sectors,
especially in information and communications
technology, biotechnology
and skills-based services.

With the encouraging prospects,
nominal gross nationsl product per
capita is projected to rise to 7.2 per
cent to reach RM21,168 in 2007, from
RM19,739 anticipated for this year.

And reflecting improvements in
the people’s well-being, per capita
income in terms of purchasing
power parity is forecast to increase
by 6.7 per cent to US$12,666
(RM46,611) next year.

From such efforts, the Government
anticipates business sentiment
to strengthen next year. It has
forecast a strong 10.5 per cent
growth in private investment expenditure.

Money will continue to be invested
in the manufacturing sector as the
Goverment seeks to deepen and diversify
it through promoting production
of high value-added products.

Agriculture is expected to become
an increasingly attractive investment
proposition, in line with the
Gover nment’s efforts to revitalise
the sector through modern farming
and farm management methods.

In the services sector, recent advancements
in technology, especially
in telecommunications, banking
and finance as well as trade and
logistics, will ensure that investment
in the sector will continue to
expand next year.

Oil and gas will remain a lucrative
sector, given the persistently high
crude oil prices and the ever-increasing
global demand and tight
supply. Investment in the sector
is expected to accelerate in 2007.
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