KUALA LUMPUR: The banking sector must work hand in hand with the government to spur economic recovery as Malaysia will be transitioning to an endemic phase starting April 1, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (economy) Mustapa Mohamed said.
He said the financial sector must provide access to capital necessary to spur economic growth by facilitating transactions between lenders and borrowers.
“The roles of banks in supporting economic recovery are very vital,” he said at the 2022 Malaysian Banking and Finance Summit this morning.
“The government and the banking industry took bold measures at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, notably on the loan moratorium and deferment of repayments for a period of six months.
“It is my hope that the banks will again work hand in hand with the government to spur economic recovery. I hope that the government and the financial institutions will do their best to facilitate funding for businesses, including small-medium enterprises (in sectors) that were hit hard by the pandemic such as aviation, tourism and hospitality.”
Mustapa said 2022 would be a year not only for economic recovery but also for economic reforms. As the country aimed to become a developed economy by 2025, he said, “Malaysia needs to change the way it does things”.
“We must increase investment in human capital and talent, upskill and continue to reskill our workforce.
“(We must also) enhance our competitiveness and innovation, reform and strengthen our institutions, widen and deepen our social safety nets, and ensure a more equitable redistribution of income.
“These are challenging goals but we have no choice but to move ahead. The worst of Covid-19 is over, hopefully. It is time for us to steer the force to reform and transform Malaysia to become a high-income nation by the year 2025,” he said.
Mustapa said the Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026 showed the country the way forward.
He said it outlined Bank Negara Malaysia’s priorities for the years ahead, in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan, in accelerating digitalisation, providing more choices and access for consumers, strengthening the funding ecosystem and advancing green financing.
The summit was organised by KSI Strategic Institute.