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Johari: Govt maintaining 2017 GDP forecast at 4-5pc

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani speaks during an Invest Malaysia 2017 event at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, July 25, 2017. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaSecond Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani speaks during an Invest Malaysia 2017 event at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, July 25, 2017. ― Picture by Yusof Mat IsaPUTRAJAYA, July 26 — The government has maintained the gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast of 4.0 to 5.0 per cent for this year, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said.

Even though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Malaysia’s GDP forecast for this year at 4.8 per cent from 4.5 per cent previously, he said the government felt that there was no need to revise the target set for the time being.

“As far as the government is concern, we will stick to our forecast of four to five per cent because the world economy is dynamic and we have a quite wide range for the forecast.

“So, we will look at how our economy on the second and third quarters will go,” he told reporters after chairing the Budget 2018 Focus Group Meeting on “Revitalising Malaysia as a Logistic Hub” here, today.

Johari said obviously, IMF’s upward revision on the projected GDP growth clearly indicated Malaysia’s strong economic fundamentals, thus refuting negative political talks about the economy. 

“The IMF, the World Bank and all other world financial institutions have recognised our economic performance, but we are mindful of the political noise, but it cannot interfere in our economic development going forward.

“We should not let politics stand in the way of economic progress as everybody would lose,” he said.

The Budget 2018 Focus Group Meeting brings together stakeholders in the port, road, airport and warehousing sectors to discuss efforts and plans that could be done in turning Malaysia into a logistics hub under the 2018 Budget which would be presented by the Prime Minister on Oct 27.

Commenting on the nine bidders for the Bandar Malaysia development, which include Fortune 500 companies, he said it showed that international investors were confident of future benefits of the high-value project.

Johari said the involvement of international bidders, of which seven were them from China and two from Japan, proved that the ongoing and future projects in Bandar Malaysia would have a major impact on the country.

“We should look at the interest shown by the bidders in Bandar Malaysia as an indicator that this project will be a game changer to Kuala Lumpur’s development for the next century,” he said.

Commenting on remarks that the value of the project should be higher than before, Johari said during bidding before the cancellation of the share-sale agreement involving China Railway Engineering Corp, there was no infrastructure projects such as the High-Speed ​​Rail and Mass Rapid Transit projects at hand.

“Time has taken place and value was increased. So, we will see what value people can offer us. For Malaysia, as long as we get better and higher value, it is good for us,” he said. — Bernama

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