PUTRAJAYA, April 16 – The Malaysian economy is estimated to operate at 45 per cent of its operating capacity due to the closure of non-essential services for four weeks during the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) until April 14, 2020, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Its Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) projected the country’s economy to grow at between -2.0 per cent and 0.5 per cent in 2020, and the projection took into account the four-week MCO implementation until April 14, 2020.
“(Hence), the decision to allow more businesses to gradually resume their operations during MCO Phase 3 (MCO3) would increase the operating capacity of the economy,” he said at a press conference here, today.
According to him, MITI had received 18,650 applications to operate from additional economic sectors for MCO3 on the first day that the ministry’s application system started operations on April 13, 2020.
“This is a huge number if we compare with the applications we received for Phase 1 and 2, whereby we processed 12,360 applications within six days,” he said.
Mohamed Azmin also said that the industries and companies that were given approvals during MCO Phase 1 and 2 did not need to get approvals to operate during MCO3.
IMF forecasted Malaysian GDP to grow 9% in 2021
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at a rate of nine per cent next year, the fastest among the ASEAN-5 nations which are expected to see a combined GDP growth of 7.8 per cent.
Besides Malaysia, ASEAN-5 includes Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam which are set to expand by 8.2 per cent, 6.1 per cent, 7.6 per cent and seven per cent, respectively.
For 2020, the Washington-based organisation forecast Malaysia’s economy to contract 1.7 per cent, as the ASEAN-5 GDP shrinks 0.6 per cent.
The IMF’s latest 2021 projection for Malaysia is higher than Fitch Ratings’ growth forecast of 5.8 per cent.