KUALA LUMPUR - Economic problems from outside Malaysia will continue to affect the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said there was still confidence in Malaysia’s economy, even with low commodity prices – such as oil – and a slowdown in emerging markets.
“We stand in good stead to deal with them because of the proactive steps we have taken,” he said at the launch of the Offshore Technology Conference Asia here.
Najib noted the difficulties in the global oil and gas market, such as the continuous supply of United States shale and Iran’s re-entry into the market.
He said the slowing growth in emerging markets reduced demand due to the decline in oil prices.
It was reported on Sunday that Brent crude oil was priced at US$40.93 a barrel compared to more than US$100 in mid-2014.
He said these factors had a big effect on the oil and gas industry, with over 250,000 workers laid off worldwide.
Najib said Malaysia had intentionally diversified its economy, going from a public-driven to a private-driven one.
He said public spending and investment used to take up a large part of Malaysia’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) but private consumption and investment overtook the public sector in the 2011-2015 period.
He said in 2015, the private sector contributed to 69.2% of Malaysia’s GDP, adding that this was proof that there was confidence in the country’s economy.
“The private sector will only invest and put its money in a country where there is a future,” he said, adding that there were RM36.1bil of foreign investments in Malaysia last year.
He said the RM186.7bil in investments last year – including domestic – meant the creation of more than 180,000 job opportunities.
Najib also commended Petronas’ resilience in the face of the global oil price drop.
The national oil and gas company had announced before that it was going to cut about 1,000 jobs to counter the oil price drop.
- THE STAR