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Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a dialogue session with the French business community in Malaysia here today. Also present are CCI France Malaysia chairman Datuk Zainal Amanshah (left) and CCI France Malaysia president Gilles Waeldin. (BERNAMA)
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a dialogue session with the French business community in Malaysia here today. Also present are CCI France Malaysia chairman Datuk Zainal Amanshah (left) and CCI France Malaysia president Gilles Waeldin. (BERNAMA)

CYBERJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is confident that the country’s economic growth will remain strong, despite challenging times ahead.

He said since Pakatan Harapan took over the administration in May, 2018, the government had focused on creating a stable economy, good fiscal discipline, good governance, transparency in doing business, removing corruption and launching institutional reforms.

“Our GDP is forecast to grow at 4.8 per cent this year despite challenging times and with good fiscal discipline, our budget deficit will narrow to 3.2 per cent,” he said in his keynote address at a dialogue session with the French business community in Malaysia here, today.

The event was organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir said the government also will be reviewing the Malaysia Incorporated Policy to enhance the close cooperation between the government and the private sector.

“We are committed to providing a stable business environment and business-friendly for investors.

“And the government has established various agencies involved in the foreign investment promotion such as Malaysian Investment Development Authority, Invest KL and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation for the smooth running of foreign investments in Malaysia,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was ranked 12th in the World Bank 2020 ease of doing business report, recording an improvement from its 15th position in the previous year.

“Moving forward, we will continue to embrace the 5Cs of doing business – clarity, consistency, certainty, confidence, and continuity,” he said.

In his speech, Dr Mahathir also noted the importance of talent management.

“I know talent management is a very important subject and the development of education is a priority to ensure we produce the right Malaysian talent needed for the 21st century or the digital age.

“We also welcome expats and foreign talent into Malaysia and we remain very generous with the various employment and resident passes for high skilled and specialised foreign talent.

“We will listen to your views on the kind of workers you want us to produce,” he said.

Dr Mahathir added many quality infrastructures have been completed and upgraded, not just in the Klang Valley but also in Penang, Johor and other parts of the country.

“Our manufacturing sector is also all geared up to fully embrace the Industry 4.0 objectives following the launch of our national policy or Industry Forward blueprint.

“More is coming and there are certainly more opportunities for companies to avail themselves of.”

Meanwhile, on the economic stimulus package to cushion the impact from the ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, Dr Mahathir said the Finance Ministry is looking into the matter.

“It is tough to bring people (visitors) to come here, hence we have to look into how we can attract Europeans, South Asia, and Indians,” he told reporters after the event.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government is evaluating the need for an economic stimulus package and is ready to launch the measures to deal with the effects of the coronavirus if necessary.

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