Sunday, October 1

Ahmad Maslan: Sarawak plays vital role in contributing to Malaysia’s economy


Ahmad (centre) joins the Asean handshake with chief delegates from the region. He is flanked by Ava president Abdul Razak Yusak (left) and organising chairman Subramaniam Arumugam.

KUCHING (Sept 19): Sarawak plays a significant role in the country’s fiscal landscape by leveraging its various competitive advantages to contribute to the overall economy, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

Ahmad said Sarawak could further enhance its development programmes and foreign investment policies by collaborating closely with federal agencies such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti).

“The state’s advantages include resource-rich economy, infrastructure development, industrial and manufacturing growth, agriculture and agribusiness, tourism potential, small and medium enterprise (SME) developments, government initiatives, and social and cultural significance,” he said when launching the 25th Asean Valuers Association (Ava) Congress here today.

Despite the global economic challenges, Ahmad said the country’s outlook remains positive with a projected moderate growth rate of at least 5 per cent annually until 2030.

“The Malaysian economy expanded moderately in the second quarter of 2023 with a 2.9 per cent expansion in gross domestic product (GDP), weighted mainly by slower external demand and bringing economic growth in the first half of 2023 to 4.2 per cent,” said the deputy minister.

Ahmad added the introduction of the Madani economic framework by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in July sought to boost the country’s economy resilience, along with the National Energy Transformation Plan (NETP) and National Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP 2030).

According to him, the country’s domestic inflation rate stood at 2 per cent in July, significantly exceeding some developed and regional countries, while the overnight policy rate (OPR) has been maintained at 3 per cent since May 2023.

A total of 477 participants from 16 countries within and beyond Asean, including the United States of America, France, South Korea, and Japan, are attending the three-day congress that started on Monday.

The topics include the importance of artificial intelligence, future proofing real estate investment valuations, and challenges of the industry.

Speaking about the congress, Ahmad said property valuers should educate buyers and prospective property owners on obtaining accurate and reliable information about the property sector.

The market value of the transacted property can then be translated into reliable economic data, he said.

“Data users such as banks, researchers, and other related professions will also be able to use and analyse the data and assist policymakers in producing efficient and accurate property-related policies.

“With the assistance of Artificial Intelligence of Things or known as AIoT, a more-informed, specific, and reliable decision can be made immediately,” he added.