High income for Malaysians likely before 2020

High income for Malaysians likely before 2020

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Malaysia has the potential to achieve a per capita Gross National Income (GNI) of US$15,000 (S$19,002) earlier than the targeted 2020, based on current projects and barring unforeseen circumstances.

With a robust economic growth surpassing both Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and GNI targets last year, the Government also recorded its highest ever revenue last year, estimated at about RM207bil.

The newly released Economic Transforma­tion Programme (ETP) annual report for 2012 said the country's GNI had risen to US$9,970 (RM31,131) last year from US$6,700 (RM20,920) in 2009, a 48.8 per cent jump in just a period of two years.

Private investments, it said, had also surpassed its 2012 target by 9.1 per cent to reach RM139.5bil, driven by high capital expenditure in the manufacturing, services and mining sectors.

Since the start of the ETP, Malaysia's private investment had tripled to a 22 per cent growth last year as compared to 12.2 per cent in 2011 and an average of 6.7 per cent between 2000 and 2010.

Against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy due to the Eurozone crisis and concerns of fiscal policy reforms in the United States, the Malaysian economy has displayed resilience, buoyed by a robust investment pipeline and expansion in domestic consumption.

Last year, the country recorded a GDP of 5.6 per cent, surpassing the Asia-Pacific growth consensus of 3.8 per cent, said Pemandu.

The ETP report pointed out that the country's investment as a whole grew by 19.9 per cent in 2012, compared to 6.5 per cent in 2011, accounting for a healthy 26.7 per cent of the GDP.

There are now 152 Entry Point Projects (EPPs), out of which 149 projects had been announced with a total committed investments of RM211.34bil.

These are expected to generate GNI of RM135.64bil in 2020 and create 408,443 jobs.

When the ETP was launched two years ago, there were 131 EPP projects.

The local capital market has also advanced substantially with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI scaling to a high of 1,681.33 points on Dec 31 last year.

Bursa Malaysia's market capitalisation has risen 14.1 per cent to RM1.47 trillion from the end of 2011.

Unlike many countries that have failed to fulfil their promises to reduce their fiscal deficit, Malaysia has been bringing the figure down from 6.6 per cent of GDP in 2009, to 5.6 per cent in 2010, 4.8 per cent in 2011 and 4.5 per cent in 2012.

"Moving forward, the aim is to reduce the fiscal deficit to 4 per cent and 3 per cent in 2013 and 2014 respectively," the report said.

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