Building & Investment (Jan - Feb 2016) (Jan - Feb 2016) - Page 36

News & Events 18th Malaysia Strategic Outlook Conference 2016 Organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute, prominent panellists shared insights on the economic outlook for Malaysia in 2016. AGAINST A BACKDROP of rising costs (living/doing business), depreciated Ringgit, weak oil and commodity prices, moderate property market, uncertainties in domestic politics and external factors (China slowdown, threat of terrorism, fledging world economy, etc.), what is in store for Malaysia in 2016 and after? How will the Malaysian economy fare and will there be sustainable growth? How will the global and regional scenario impact on Malaysian business? What steps, if any, should we strategise so as not to stagnate, or worst, regress in our quest for high-income status by 2020? These posers, earlier addressed at the recent 27th ASEAN and related Summits, were taken up again/reviewed at the 18th Malaysia Strategic Outlook Conference 2016 organised by the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI). Themed “Coping with Uncertainty - The Way Forward in Difficult Times”, the day-long event, timed at the beginning of each year, serves to (a) assess key trends, strategic challenges and critical issues facing the nation in the ensuing year, (b) evaluate economic outlook by taking stock of current developments and their impact on the business environment and investment YB Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in his opening keynote address on “Outlook for Innovation and Technology - The Way Forward for Malaysia”. 32 Building & Investment | FROM LEFT: Tan Sri Dr Lau Ban Tin (B.I.G. Industries), Mr Edward Clayton (PwC Consulting Associates), Mr Tay Kay Luan (Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers) and Tan Sri Michael Yeoh (CEO of ASLI). PANELLISTS AND TOPICS: “Malaysia’s Economic Outlook”: Key Issues and Challenges Mr Rafael Munoz Moreno, Senior Economist, World Bank; Prof Rajah Rasiah, Faculty of Economics and Administration, UM and Dato’ Dr Mohd Nazri Khan, Affin Hwang Investment Bank. “Sectoral & Industry Outlook” Property: Tan Sri Eddy Chin, REHDA/Director MKH Group SME: Mr. Michael Kang, President SME Association Malaysia Shipping & Logistics: Tan Sri Dr Jason Goh, Tumpuan Megah Developments Sdn Bhd Commodities: Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron, Malaysian Palm Oil Council “The Corporate Outlook” Tan Sri Dr Lau Ban Tim, B.I.G. Industries Bhd; Mr Edward Clayton, PwC Strategy (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Mr Tay Kay Luan, CEO Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers. climate. Notwithstanding the general consensus that Malaysia’s economic fundamentals still remain robust (World Bank projects a 4.5% GDP growth for 2016 and 2017, driven by domestic demand), with (economic) transformation programme on track, some concerns highlighted were: s need for structural reforms to be deepened to “improve public sector performance, accelerate human capital development and re-engineer economic growth” s potential markets provided by AEC and TPPA? s lacklustre, though stable, property market plagued by rising costs (land, building materials, etc.) - demand for affordable housing (very much on the s agenda of 11th Malaysia Plan) remain unabated; excepting crude oil, major commodities are not expected to experience fall in prices. Perhaps, as suggested by YB Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in his keynote address, “Outlook for Innovation and Technology – The Way Forward for Malaysia”, the “stark” reality is that we have to create a “national innovation environment or innovative ecosystem” to stay competitive, if not have, an edge globally. “To rejuvenate the economy and unleash the nation’s potentials”, he added, “the key is innovation, in products, services and business models.” Q