Miti: Investor confidence unaffected by rating agencies’ concerns

International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Ong Kian Ming says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had met with the rating agencies.

SERI KEMBANGAN: Investor confidence in Malaysia will not be affected as concerns underlined by rating agencies have been addressed, International Trade and Industry (Miti) Deputy Minister Ong Kian Ming said.

He said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng met with several credit rating agencies during his visits to Singapore and Hong Kong recently.

“I think what was made clear was that the increase in the budget deficit and the new tax reliance were temporary.

“It is something that we need in the short term to cover the shortfalls, and pay back the goods and services tax as well as the income tax refund,” he said after a dialogue on Budget 2019 and Industry 4.0 here, today.

Meanwhile, Ong said that the ministry will take part in Lynas’ public hearing scheduled on Nov 11.

“We are confident the public hearing will be one that is open, fair and transparent.

“What we want to do is to give the most accurate and relevant information to the Lynas committee because that is part of ensuring the process is transparent,” he added.

The dialogue session held today was to connect with local businesses and share about opportunities for upgrading under the newly launched National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) blueprint and the Budget 2019.

In Budget 2019, an allocation of RM210 million will be set aside for Industry4WRD implementation for the 2019-2021 period.

“While the key allocation is still being worked out in the budget process, the key activities anticipated under the blueprint include a readiness assessment to be carried out by Malaysia Productivity Corporation for 500 Small and Medium Enterprises to identify the gaps in readiness for Industry 4.0 and provide recommendations.

“Another effort is upgrading the high-speed broadband coverage at selected industrial parks, as connectivity is a key requirement for smart manufacturing,” he said.