Malaysia back on growth track next year, says World Bank

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The World Bank believes that Malaysia’s economy will begin to recover by the end of the year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia can expect its economy to get on the recovery path from the end of this year, with a return to growth into 2021, says a World Bank representative.

The bank’s country manager for Malaysia, Firas Raad, said Malaysia must continue with its encouraging and effective public health measures while bringing the economy back to where it was before the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said pro-growth policies, coupled with incentives to push the private sector were crucial ingredients to employ to help the nation recover from the economic downturn.

“The country first needs to continue its effective public health measures to ensure no second wave or the return of the (Covid-19) virus.

“Aside from that, (it must) continue supporting vulnerable households and focus on the firms that need support and recovery, especially the small and medium enterprises, and then start to think about the medium-term reform agendas,” he said in an interview on Bernama TV today.

Firas said Malaysia should continue its effort on the reform agendas such as those involving governance, regulatory environment and competition of economic sectors, as well as education reform, in its bid to achieve high-income nation status.

“For Malaysia to cross into high-income country status, it will have to boost productivity growth, and that will only come with great investment in human capital,” he said.

He added that the World Bank is in the midst of reviewing the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on Malaysia’s economy before deciding whether to revise the country’s 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth target, sometime this month.

In April, the bank cut Malaysia’s 2020 GDP growth forecast from 4.5% to a negative 0.1%.

Business activities in Malaysia are resuming as the country gradually eased the coronavirus lockdown measures after the economic activity was frozen for almost two months.

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