KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 (Bernama) — The government is maintaining its gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for this year and next year at five per cent, based on the strong domestic demand.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the country was still committed towards the five per cent growth this year and that it was on course to achieving that.
“Next year, we are still predicting a five per cent barring something catastrophic,” he told reporters after launching the Financial Sector Blueprint and Malaysia’s New Currency Series here Wednesday.
He was commenting on whether the government would revise its growth forecast on the back of uncertainties in global economy.
“So if there is like a downturn in the external environment, we can still manage to achieve the five per cent provided that we push for strong domestic demand,” said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister.
The prime minister said in order to ensure strong domestic demand, the government departments and ministries must achieve a very high rate of spending in terms of their development expenditure.
For this year, private sector investments and foreign direct investments have been on the upward swing and hopefully it will be stronger next year, the prime minister said.
“Obviously it will not be an exact five per cent but that is our estimate and it should be close enough,” he said, adding that the government was optimistic of achieving an average six per cent over the next ten years under the New Economic Model (NEM).
“We are talking about an average of six per cent over the next 10 years and there will be some years in which it (GDP) would dip slightly below and some years it would go beyond six per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile, to a question on Malaysia’s collaboration with Iran, Najib said both countries could still continue their bilateral cooperation as long as it did not contravene with the United Nations resolution.
“I think in the areas of economic cooperation, we can certainly continue our bilateral cooperation and explore more opportunities as long it does not contravene the UN resolution.”
The areas that are unaffected by the UN resolution will continue to grow, he added.
Source : Bernama