KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — The country’s economy is doing well, with the bond market showing high inflows, foreign investment remaining positive and the ringgit emerging as one of the strongest currencies in Southeast Asia despite the country being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the performance showed that foreign investor confidence in the Malaysian market remained strong.
He said the bond market recorded an inflow of RM23.1 billion until August 2020 and net foreign investment increased to RM6.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to RM2.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020.
“Among the factors that support the confidence of foreign investors is the government’s efforts to engage with existing investors to understand the needs of the industry during the implementation of movement control.
“Besides that, efforts to attract additional and new investments are also constantly underway,” he said in his One-Year Malaysia Prihatin Keynote Address which was broadcast live on Monday.
Muhyiddin said after overcoming all challenges in 2020, the government is determined to drive economic recovery more vigorously in 2021 for the people’s well-being.
He said although economic activities will resume, movement restriction is still necessary, which includes international border controls, cross-state movement control as well as in terms of social and business activities where social distancing is not possible.
He added that the government has formulated four additional measures for the near term, including providing targeted assistance to vulnerable groups, especially the poor and those suffering from income losses.
“The government will also strengthen support for businesses, especially those which are still unable to resume operations as well as those which are in the process of resuming their business post-Movement Control Order (MCO),” he said.
Muhyiddin added that the government will focus on the public delivery system, especially to ensure that assistance reaches all those in need; expedite the implementation of development projects; reduce bureaucracy to reinvigorate economic activities right down to the grassroots level; and encourage new domestic and foreign investments.
The prime minister added that the country will also focus on the digitalisation agenda in line with the growth of new wealth sources and the nation’s economic transformation in knowledge and innovation-based activities.