KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — The EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Eurocham Malaysia) today said that it was concerned that the government’s National Recovery Plan unnecessarily extends the movement control order (MCO 3.0), which may have far-reaching implications for the country’s economy.
In a statement, Eurocham said that Malaysia’s declining reputation as a reliable partner in the international supply chain has been brought to its attention, adding that they have noticed a growing trend among international businesses delaying foreign direct investment (FDI) decisions to a later time due to the ongoing and repeated lockdown decisions.
“The current National Recovery Plan will continue to hinder Malaysia’s economic recovery and social sustainability for at least 12 weeks followed by long-lasting repercussions.
“In other words, the current lockdown can and should only be a temporary measure and should be thoroughly reviewed by the end of June 2021,” it said.
Eurocham chairman Oliver Roche said that he strongly believes that a pragmatic exit strategy for the MCO is in dire need to help with the country’s economic recovery, adding that the National Recovery Plan offers more certainty for investors and local businesses, but also falls short of expectations as the timeline and milestones given are too conservative.
“Subsequently, to maintain investor confidence and survival for local and foreign businesses alike, it is essential to provide clear communication, consistent rules, SOPs and guidelines.
He added that the need to accelerate the vaccination programme is equally important to achieve herd immunity, suggesting the government incentivise more general practitioners and private clinics to join the programme as well as widen the participation as much as possible, adding that an accelerated rate of vaccinations will reduce the number of critical Covid-19 cases, thereby reducing the burden on the country’s healthcare system in form of less critical cases warded at the Intensive Care Units.
“We propose to shift the goalpost to vaccinate 20 per cent of the adult population with at least one shot by the end of June and then start opening some sectors with a low-risk profile,” said Roche.
Luciano Pezzotta, Eurocham deputy chairman said he agreed with the governments recovery plan, but still anticipates a need for a comprehensive financial support programme for both Malaysian and foreign businesses will still be necessary for the remainder of 2021 and 2022.
“Another crucial step in line with the vaccination programme is the implementation of a vaccine passport / certificate, since this has already been initiated by the European Union and could allow for mutual recognition.
“Furthermore, this will allow to develop new rules and regulations for fully vaccinated business / expatriate travelers in line with the new vaccine passport / certificate in order to expedite foreign direct investment in Malaysia,” he said.