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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        4  March 2011

Malaysia confident in investment goals

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Malaysia is confident of achieving the average yearly investment of some US$44.4bil under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) this year despite a slower projected economic growth.

Malaysia has projected the economy to grow by 5 percent to 6 percent this year compared with last year's 7.2 percent.

The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has projected that a total investment of US$444bil or RM1.4 trillion will be needed for 131 “transformative” projects to make the country a high-income nation by 2020 under the ETP.

About 92 percent of the total investment will be led by the private sector, which includes government-linked companies, and the balance will be from the Government itself.

“I believe that it (the US$44.4bil target investment for this year) is doable. Pemandu has used a baseline approach by calling up companies locally to identify their investments (targets) for this year. We will be releasing the total investment value next Tuesday,” said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, who is also Pemandu's chief executive officer.

He was speaking to reporters yesterday after participating in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Malaysia's “What future are you preparing for?” dialogue session.

When asked if the instabilities across the Middle East and North Africa would affect foreign investment flow into the country, Idris said 70 percent of the 92 percent was coming from domestic spending and that foreign-domestic investments were not confined to these countries.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had previously said that the RM83bil private investmentsfor this year was achievable through a series of entry point projects (EPPs) planned under the ETP.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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