KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is undergoing economic transformations and reforms but is beginning to see results with an increase in foreign investments, leading to healthy and growing business partnerships, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Speaking during his keynote address at the 2017 Global Transformation Forum (GTF 2017) today, Najib said Malaysia is seeing strong and consistent growth with the fiscal deficit cut from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to 3.1 per cent in 2016.
"Countless measures have been put in place to ensure our continued transformation into an innovative, knowledge-based economy with sustainability and inclusivity at its core.
"We are working for a nation at ease with others and proud of its unique and vibrant diversity because it is not just about GDP or headline figures but also public happiness and the well-being of each and every household.
"I am not saying everything is perfect. There are some downside risks and challenges such as managing household debt, the need to improve productivity and move up the value chain as well as the insufficient household savings. But we will address these head on with appropriate measures," he said.
Najib added it was important that the neutral observers see the bigger picture of what the country has done, will continue to do and its commitment to reform and see the results of the transformations thus far.
"Even with the achievements we have gained under our belt, our work is not done. The government has also recently set a new goal to be a top 20 country by 2050.
"PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicted Malaysia will have the 25th highest GDP in the world, measured by purchasing power parity by 2030 and the 24th by 2050. So a top 20 rank is within our grasp.
"But this means there is more work to be done. The transformation must be continuous, and the government will not rest in our efforts towards this," he said to a hall fully-packed with forum participants.
Najib and Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma would also be launching Malaysia's Digital Free Trade Zone, which will be the world's first, later today.
Ma and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt will be among the speakers at the GTF 2017 held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from March 22-23, 2017.
Themed "Driving Transformation", the forum will also feature other notable speakers including Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur and author of 'The Pursuit of Happyness' Chris Gardner, and winner of 13 Formula One Grand Prix races David Coulthard.