06 Oct Covid-19 pandemic and the way forward
Malaysia is seen to be doing a good job in the face of the pandemic so far. However reviving demand remains the main concern of the government with cash handouts, tax incentives and help for small businesses the need of the hour.
Amid the pandemic, the country announced a slew of policies and incentives to help battle the economic effects. In May 2021, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said the economic stimulus packages like Prihatin; Prihatin Package for Small and Medium Enterprises (Additional Measures); National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana- includes various initiatives and programmes aimed at attracting more foreign direct investment); the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection Scheme (Permai); the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (Pemerkasa) and the 2021 Budget have had a positive impact on the country’s economic growth. Several key economic indicators recorded stronger performance, including the country’s Industrial Production Index which jumped 9.3 per cent in March 2021 — the highest growth since July 2013, driven by the Manufacturing and Electricity Index which increased by 12.7 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively.
There is a buzz in business circles in Malaysia about billionaires emerging from the booming demand for rubber gloves because of the pandemic. Malaysia is a global leader in rubber production, commanding some 65% of global market share in rubber gloves. In June 2020, DexCom, Inc, a world leader in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for diabetics, headquartered in San Diego, California, chose Batu Kawan Industrial Park in Penang as their third manufacturing site. This new site, the first outside the United States, will help increase the production of Dexcom’s industry-leading CGM systems. One example that, despite the current pandemic, Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination due to its diversified economy and comprehensive entrepreneurial ecosystem.
As per EIU reports, the country’s 2020 GDP growth was pegged at – 5.6%. However, international agencies forecast Malaysia’s GDP growth in 2021 to lie in the range of 4% to 6.5%. While EIU forecasts a growth of 4.4 in 2021, the International Monetary Fund pegged its 2021 growth rate at 6.5%.