Malaysia’s government hopes that its economic growth can rebound from the worst of the pandemic to more than five per cent a year.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Monday, as he announced the latest version of an official five-year blueprint.
“Malaysia also has not been spared from the effects of the pandemic,” the prime minister said, tabling the 12th Malaysia Plan in parliament.
Malaysia’s economy, South-East Asia’s third-wealthiest, measured per capita shrank by more than five per cent in 2020, with much of the damage done during a second-quarter pandemic lockdown.
Mr Yaakob’s government took office about a month ago and holds a slender four-seat majority.
Predecessor Muhyiddin Yassin was forced to step down after coronavirus numbers increased five-fold in spite of another punishing lockdown.
Before relinquishing control, Mr Yassin’s government cut the 2021 growth forecast to between three to four per cent after a third lockdown led to reduced factory output.
Carmakers in Europe were forced into production cuts due to shortages of components usually sourced in Malaysia.
Mr Yaakob said his government hoped to reduce reliance on low-wage foreign workers, who mainly work in manufacturing and agriculture, and increase the weight of the digital economy to about 25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).