GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia’s financial system has greatly benefited from Japanese investments through expertise transfer, knowledge, technology and enhanced economic inter-linkages, Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said today.
She said Malaysia welcomed the continued participation of Japanese financial institutions in the domestic financial sector and in the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre.
As at last month, there are four commercial banks, four insurance companies, one reinsurance company and one joint-venture takaful operator from Japan operating in Malaysia, she said when opening the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi (M) Bhd Penang branch.
The text of her speech was read out by assistant governor Donald Joshua Jaganathan.
Zeti said Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi’s decision to open its newest branch in Penang was not only supported by the large presence of Japanese customers but also the ongoing investment activities in Malaysia’s northern region.
She said while Malaysia’s financial centre has shifted to Kuala Lumpur, the importance of Penang as the major economic contributor to the country’s economy remains significant.
Opening of the branch demonstrated the continued expansion of Malaysian financial system and well supported by a fundamentally stable economy that continues to perform during these challenging times, he said.
Zeti said Asia continues to be an important growth centre in the global economy, adding that eventhough growth may have moderated, it has still remained at levels that have sustained job creation.
This was driven by domestic demand and increased connectivity among emerging economies in the region, Zeti added.
She said economic flexibility and strong financial systems have also supported this trend.
“In Malaysia, while the slower external demand has affected our growth, strong domestic demand and the close economic linkages in the region have continued to underpin the steady growth path,” she added.