Welcome Remarks by Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director for
Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand
July 2, Launch of the 18th Malaysia Economic Monitor
Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali, Minister of Economic Affairs,
Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, Director General, Economic Planning Unit.
Mr. Marzunisham bin Omar, Assistant Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia.
Yang Berbahagia Dato Sri. Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin, Chief Statistician, Department of Statistics.
Good morning. Selamat Pagi.
I am deeply honored to be here this morning, not only to welcome you all to the launch of the World Bank’s 18th Malaysia Economic Monitor, but also to extend the World Bank’s heartfelt congratulations to the people of Malaysia for your historic, peaceful elections last May.
Today, Malaysia has a unique window of opportunity to deepen reforms that ensure that every Malaysian benefits from the country’s continued economic growth.
Malaysia has achieved much to be proud of and is well on track to move from an upper middle-income to high-income economy. But, as recent events show, becoming a high-income society means looking beyond GDP numbers. It means ensuring economic gains are distributed across all regions and the entire population, including the bottom 40 percent of households. It means translating economic gains into improvements in the lives of Malaysia’s people, including in their health and education, and the environment in which they live. Bold reforms will be needed to achieve these goals: to boost productivity, enhance social assistance programs, and improve access to public services.
Malaysia’s near-term growth and economic fundamentals remain sound – and provide a solid foundation for the government to move forward with its agenda. Economic growth is expected to remain strong at a rate of 5.4 percent in 2018. As a highly open trade-oriented economy at the center of the world’s fastest growing region, Malaysia continues to benefit from robust global demand for its exports. Moreover, Malaysia’s diversified economic structure, resilient institutions, significant natural resources, and substantial human capital endowments, have not changed.
The World Bank Group Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Kuala Lumpur, located here in Sasana Kijang, recently celebrated its second anniversary. This Hub is testament to the close partnership between Malaysia and the World Bank. We are immensely pleased with the joint knowledge and research work that is carried out here and remain committed to working closely with all our Malaysian partners to support the country’s development in the exciting years ahead.
I wish everyone a fruitful session today and Salam Sejahtera. Thank you.
And now, I would like to take this opportunity to invite Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali, Minister of Economic Affairs, for his much anticipated opening speech. Yang Berhormat, I know it’s a busy day for you and we truly appreciate the time you have taken to be with us here. I am deeply honored to welcome you to the stage.