Advantages and Challenges for Malaysia’s Economic Transformation

I had the privilege of delivering the keynote speech at the HSBC Asian Business Forum today. I made the following points:

๐—š๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ต๐˜† ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€

Malaysia is actually a maritime nation surrounded by the worldโ€™s most important waterways – the Malacca Straits and South China Sea – and we should tap into our geographical and natural advantages, such as our lower risk of natural disasters, to boost our economic activities. Malaysia is Asiaโ€™s linchpin linking the Pacific and Indian Oceans, a crucial fact that Malaysians should take cognizance of.

๐—ช๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ

There can be a second economic take-off for Malaysia if we do things right. Employers have to acknowledge that the Malaysian and Singaporean labour market are actually a single labour market. If Malaysian employers can provide high enough wages, they will be able to get the right workforce for them, thereby contributing to overall economic growth.

๐—›๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„๐˜๐—ต ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€

Malaysiaโ€™s debt problem should be approached by having higher growth, rather than austerity measures. If we can have a growth of 5.5% to 6% per annum, the size of our GDP can double in 10 to 15 years.

To achieve the above, there are 6 engines of growth: re-industrialisation, TechUp, green transition, a good life, services 2.0 and regional development.

I thank Datoโ€™ Omar Siddiq, CEO of HSBC Malaysia, for inviting me to his event. Also present at the forum was Ms Danielle Heinecke, Australian High Commissioner-designate.

This is my speech at the HSBC Asian Business Forum.

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