KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded a significant economic growth over the past few years with an increase in Gross National Income (GNI) and secured record levels of Foreign Direct Investment said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The prime minister said between 2009 and 2016, the country’s GNI had increased by nearly 50% with 2.26 million jobs created.
“Inflation and unemployment have been kept low and we have secured record levels of Foreign Direct Investments – at the time when our opponents keep trying to scare people into thinking that Malaysia is going bankrupt.
“Business would not be investing in Malaysia if they thought that. They would not be moving their regional headquarters here, if they thought that,” he said at the ASEAN@50 Commemorative Dinner and Achievement Awards here last night.
He cited companies such as Huawei which has made Malaysia its global operation headquarters, HSBC which is investing over RM1 billion to build its future regional head office in the Tun Razak Exchange and Broadcom Limited which will transfer its global distribution hub from Singapore to Malaysia this year, as examples of some FDIs.
Najib said Malaysia is strategically placed for business to access the Asean market of 625 million people, and ultimately with the eventual conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, to be a gateway to 50% of the world’s population and over 30% of global GDP.
“We are not just strategically and geographically well placed. It is also a matter of how we wish to interact with the world. We are not interested in harping on old grievances, as one former leader still is,” he said, adding that Malaysia also wishes to continue to work with friends and partners, near and far.
He said this had led to Malaysia’s relations and friendships with many nations reaching historic highs.
He added that Malaysia had also played a major role towards the success of Asean and that it would continue to contribute to its future successes.
On the way forward for Asean, the prime minister said for it to realise its potential, the group must be an association that felt real, relevant and tangible to its citizens.
“We need to build that sense of cohesion, solidarity, support, unity, friendship and strength, which will result in greater prosperity and harmony for all our countries,” he said.
Najib noted that peace and stability that Asean has brought to the 10 nations, is often unsung, but it should not be forgotten.
He said it was part of the story of Asean that should be more widely known and must be shared with its citizens.
“Asean has kept the peace in a region once known as the Balkans of Asia, with a multiplicity of ethnicities and faiths, and with a history of conflicts both between neighbours and within states,” he said.