GDP growth is nothing if purchasing power doesn’t go up, says Azmin

File picture shows Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali speaking to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2019. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
File picture shows Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali speaking to reporters at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2019. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

PETALING JAYA, April 6 — Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali today said that Malaysia’s economic approach is to balance fiscal discipline with growth as gross domestic product (GDP) numbers must grow along with the increase in purchasing power of the people.

He said it is imperative that as the economic pie expands, the welfare of the people must improve as well.

“Despite financial challenges, the government is committed to enhancing the prosperity of Malaysians, alleviate the difficulties faced by families struggling with the rising cost of living and invest in projects that will drive growth throughout the country,” Azmin said in his closing keynote speech at the United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC)-Graduates Corporate luncheon 2019 held at Royal Lancaster London.

Azmin explained that the government must help to break Malaysians out of the middle-income trap.

He said the services sector will see an implementation of initiatives through the Services Sector Blueprint, as well as productivity improvements under the Malaysia Productivity Blueprint.

“The manufacturing sector will be largely driven by the shift towards high value-added, diverse and complex products, particularly in the fields of electrical and electronics, machinery and equipment, chemicals and chemical products, aerospace and medical devices,” added Azmin.

According to authorities, Malaysia’s recent GDP figures indicate no risk of deflation and the economy is expected to expand by 4.9 per cent in 2019.

In February, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said strong economic growth numbers, immediately dispel any deflationary fears following the drop in January CPI (Consumer Price Index) by 0.7 per cent, which is the lowest in nearly ten years.