KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has organised several engagement sessions with various stakeholders since March 20, 2024, in conjunction with the central bank’s key report publication recently.

BNM said the engagement sessions were aimed at sharing its assessment of the Malaysian economy and financial sector, as well as getting feedback from the central bank’s stakeholders.

“These sessions involved government ministries and agencies, the diplomatic corps, the banking industry, insurance, takaful and payments, economists, banking analysts and fund managers, businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the media,” BNM said in a statement today.

The central bank’s main publications are the Annual Report 2023, the Economic and Monetary Review 2023 and the Financial Stability Review for the Second Half of 2023.

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It also said that among the important issues discussed were growth and inflation, the ringgit and structural reforms.

Concerning growth and inflation, key stakeholders discussed the outlook for growth and inflation for Malaysia this year, including possible actions taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

As for issues involving the ringgit, BNM said the discussion focused on the bank’s assessment of the ringgit’s performance and the tools that can be used to provide support, including whether BNM will consider raising the overnight policy rate (OPR).

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“For structural reforms, most key stakeholders are interested in understanding the mechanism, sequence and timing of the implementation of structural reforms by the government.

“BNM stated that the government is clear about its reform agenda, including strategic reforms outlined in key policy documents such as the National Investment Aspirations, New Industry Master Plan 2023 and the Energy Transition Roadmap,” it said.

Several reform measures have already been implemented or are being implemented, including the adjustment of electricity tariffs and the removal of maximum price caps on items such as chicken, said BNM.

It noted that it fully supports the development of a future-ready workforce through labour market reforms and the strengthening of social protection programmes.

“These are important structural reforms needed in Malaysia and its implementation will increase Malaysia’s competitiveness, ensure more sustainable growth and improve the standard of living in this country,” BNM said.

Key stakeholders also agreed on the importance of implementing effective structural reforms and the subsequent impact on economic growth and the ringgit, it added. — Bernama