The world is facing extraordinary economic challenges. Not since 1945 have we experienced such a global economic downturn. The World Bank has also predicted that for the first time in more than a quarter of a century, world trade will shrink this year. But on a brighter note, both the World Bank and IMF have predicted that the Asian economies will be the first to recover from the ongoing economic and financial crisis. These two organisations have also forecast that Asia will be the growth centre of the world, once the global economy recovers.
This is where Malaysian business must be prepared to take advantage of the potential of this region. In this context PERDASAMA’s organisation of this Forum and Expo is a step in the right direction. I am sure this Forum and Expo will provide our visitors the opportunity to explore the opportunities that Malaysia offers.
In response to the global recession, the Government has put in place several policy measures, including adjusting and adopting pro-active fiscal and monetary policies to mitigate the slowdown of the Malaysian economy. These measures amongst others include:
• Two economic stimulus packages of RM67 billion, amounting to almost 10 per cent of GDP;
• Reduction in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 150 basis points since November 2008 t0 2.0 per cent; and
• Reduction in the Statutory Reserves Requirement (SRR) by 300 basis points to 1.0 per cent.