KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today called on local financial players to play a key role in the cross-border intermediation of Asia’s financial funds as part of the country’s efforts towards becoming a developed nation.
This can be done with Malaysia’s financial institutions continuing to venture abroad and replicating their domestic success in these new markets, he said in his special address at the launch of the Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020 and new Malaysian Currency Series here today.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said local financial institutions could work towards enhancing regional connectivity, providing high-quality, competitive services and becoming responsible partners to the regional community.
Greater physical connectivity across the region would spur economic integration as infrastructures are upgraded and intra-regional investments increase to tap opportunities and comparative advantages of every Asian country.
“These changes present significant opportunities for the Malaysian financial sector to mobilise regional funds and promote the efficient allocation of resources to investments that will drive regional prosperity and growth,” the prime minister said.
Apart from that, there was a need to break a new ground in positioning Malaysia at the forefront of the international market in Islamic finance.
As Islamic finance becomes an ever more important component of the global financial system, Najib said Malaysia should continue to develop and capitalise on its world-beating expertise.
In endorsing his full support for the blueprint, Najib said that like the New Economic Model (NEM) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), the new blueprint also emphasised on balanced and inclusive growth.
“For example, ensuring that Malaysians living in remote parts of the country have access to high-quality, cost-efficient financial services – puts us in the best possible position to ensure that no Malaysian is deprived of reasonable opportunities and that everyone is given the chance to improve the economic prospects for themselves and for their children,” he said.
The blueprint also complemented the wide-ranging efforts that are already underway through NEM and ETP, which is to facilitate the country’s transition to a high value-added, high-income economy.
“The increase breadth and depth envisaged for our financial sector over the next 10 years will provide a conducive and enabling environment in which initiatives and Entry Point Projects can flourish,” Najib said.
Najib said the Malaysia’s financial sector has expanded over the last 10 years, contributing to 12 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and creating jobs for almost 145,000 people.
He said the sector also demonstrated remarkable resilience and stability during the global financial crisis and has continued to support local businesses and economic activities in an intermediary capacity.
Another important feature of the blueprint was the safeguard it puts in place to ensure financial stability across the region.
As the regional and international complexion of Malaysia’s financial system continues to transform, Najib said there would be greater and more urgent need for financial sector regulators and policymakers to join hands and put in place an appropriate regulatory regime backed up by collaborative arrangements that would promote regional financial stability and protect the country’s mutual economic interests.
He said Malaysia should continue to strengthen its domestic financial institutions to meet the diverse funding requirements of trade, direct investments, infrastructure financing and the full range of economic activities with differing risk liquidity and maturity preferences.
Source : Bernama