KUALA LUMPUR ,jan 25– Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States last Wednesday may be the much-needed global economic catalyst for countries the world over, including Malaysia.

Economists say Biden as commander-in-chief could restore confidence and faith in global growth that will, in turn, boost Malaysia’s economic performance, especially through trade. 

Sunway University business school lecturer Nur Ain Shahrier said Biden’s presidency augurs well for the world economy. 

“However, competition is stiff, and Malaysia needs to explore exporting products that have high added value so we will not be left out when global growth is reignited,” she told The Vibes.

Meanwhile, AIMST University Vice-Chancellor Datuk John Antony Xavier said Biden as US president will hopefully ease global trade tensions, especially with China.

“This, in a way, will be good for us, but we do not have the competitive advantage of countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, which are aggressive in this area. 

“We were only able to capture 5% of all investments relocating out of China at the height of the US-China trade tensions. Maybe after this, we should intensify our competitiveness to attract more foreign direct investments.” 

He added issues of corruption have also dogged the country, as well as talent outflow and expatriate talent.

“But we are still competitive and, if we can, we should move more aggressively to net more investments because our infrastructure is good and so is our educated workforce.”  

Xavier, however, feels there will not be a significant difference in the Biden administration compared with his predecessor Donald Trump’s era.

“Biden will continue to put the screws on China given its aggression in the South China Sea, Taiwan, and the lack of intellectual property protection in the superpower nation.”

Nur Ain, meanwhile, said it is expected that some of the policies Democrats had put in place during Barack Obama’s administration will be restored, such as those on climate change; bilateral cooperation, especially in trade and diplomacy; research; and pandemic collaboration.

However, she said, the structural damage inflicted during Trump’s tenure will take time to recover from. 

“The US will first need to re-institutionalise many of its fundamentals that were broken under the Trump administration.”


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