KUALA LUMPUR – The successful roll-out of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme as per schedule will ensure a quicker vaccination of the population and this will be a key factor in determining Malaysia’s road to economic recovery.
APIB’s Director of Asset Management Department Mr. Lai Heow Gran stated that the national vaccination program running as scheduled will curb the spread of the pandemic and will help drive the economic recovery forward. However, there is a danger of the economy being at risk if the speed of administering the vaccination is unable to keep up with the evolution of the virus.
Lai expressed this view at APIB’s online webinar on Wednesday with the theme “Ox-picious CNY Special: Efficient Asset Management, Effortless Wealth Creation”, with a view on Malaysia’s post-pandemic business trends.
Nonetheless, Malaysia’s Leading Indicator Index rose to 7.1% last November (from 6.3% in October), with exports of semi-conductors being the key contributor. The economies of Singapore and China are already beginning to recover, and Malaysia is expected to benefit as the two countries are its largest trading partners.
Lai forecasted that the overnight policy interest rate in the first half of 2021 will remain at 1.75% to drive market growth and to maintain the loose monetary policy.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the overall national economy it also acted as a catalyst for the rapid development of Malaysia’s e-commerce sector. In 2020, the total value of the online transactions (e-Money) in Malaysia was at a record high of RM29.4 billion. This is a substantial increase of RM11.2 billion or 60% from RM18.2 billion in 2019.
Lai added that according to Bank Negara’s data, the total value of Malaysia’s e-Money (through e-wallet) was only RM7.7 billion in 2016, RM9.1 billion in 2017, RM11 billion in 2018, RM18.2 billion in 2019 and continued breaking new records with a sharp increase to RM29.4 billion in 2020.
“On the whole, Malaysia’s e-commerce will continue to show positive development these 2 years. It is estimated that the total value of e-commerce will reach RM36.1 billion in 2021 and exceed RM40 billion by 2022 to reach RM41.7 billion,” Lai added.
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