The year 2022 will see Malaysia back on track in setting a long-term national economic plan with the mobilisation of several important themes, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
These include empowering the digital economy as demanded by the current reality, he said in his special New Year’s message on Friday (Dec 31, 2021).
“Based on the same awareness on the need to adapt to current and future requirements, Malaysia has also given its commitment towards achieving a carbon-neutral nation status by 2050.
“The year 2022 will see Malaysia back on the economic track for the long term, taking into consideration several important themes,” the premier said in his address.
Among them is strengthening the digital economy in line with the current reality,
“We realise that we need to adapt to the current needs as well as for the future and Malaysia has given the commitment to achieve ‘carbon neutral nation’ status in 2050.
“The transformation to an economy and society that care about environmental, social and governance (ESG) need a transition in various aspects of management, administration and frame of mind in making policy,” he added.
Ismail Sabri said for example, in terms of job creation, Malaysia needs to be ready to create an ecosystem that is capable of generating activities and a job market in line with an economy and society that are ESG-friendly.
The ESG aspiration will also need the government to be brave to create a conducive policy and incentive framework, he noted.
“Proof that the government is committed to this agenda is the exemption of various duties and taxes, such as road tax and sales tax, on electric vehicles (EV).
“The government realises that to achieve this objective, the support ecosystem such as infrastructure for EV needs to be set up and enhanced like what you find in developed countries,” Ismail Sabri said.
The government will step up the economic recovery in 2022 with the implementation of various initiatives which had been announced in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) and Budget 2022 to ensure the resiliency of the economy and the prosperity of Keluarga Malaysia, he added.
The government will also focus on creating at least 600,000 jobs and fast-track the recovery of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Hence, Ismail Sabri said he is confident that the economy will grow between 5.5% and 6.5% in 2022, in line with the IMF’s forecast of 6% and the World Bank’s 5.8%.
The year 2021 witnessed several positive indicators in the government’s effort to mend the economy, he noted.
Among them was that total trade breached RM2 trillion for the first time from January to November 2021, compared to the corresponding period a year ago.
Also, Malaysia recorded RM12.8 billion in net foreign direct investment (FDI) in the third quarter, compared with RM8.2 billion in the second quarter, an improvement of 56%.
“Net FDI in the first nine months of 2021 hit over RM30 billion,” he noted, adding that the unemployment rate has also been recovering, hitting 4.3% in October of 2021, compared with the peak of 5.3% in May of 2020.