Malaysia Prihatin: A Responsive & Progressive MITI

MITI & Its Agencies are Quick to Manage the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

One for the books... MITI and its agencies have done much to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

A year has passed since the Ministry of International Trade and Industry came under the leadership of YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Minister, Ministry of International Trade and Industry. As the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the nation and impacted the country’s economic development agenda, MITI took a responsive and progressive approach in managing the economic chaos that followed.

Consequently, a string of successes were made possible throughout the year 2020.

"From an international trade perspective, Malaysia enjoyed 23 consecutive years of trade surplus since 1998, recording the highest trade surplus in 2020 at RM184.79 billion. Additionally, a total of RM164 billion in foreign investments were approved throughout 2020 - a feat, considering the challenging economic climate." 

Other significant achievements include MITI’s success in hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference virtually for the first time in history, throughout the year. MITI was also the chief consultant in the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 14 other participating countries on 15 November 2020 which would provide market access to more than 2.2 billion people in the region. Furthermore, MITI was also responsible for the continuance of the economic sector throughout the Movement Control Order.

MITI was recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records for having organised the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting virtually for the very first time. This achievement met one of the primary objectives of APEC 2020, which included the launch of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 and the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration.

Facing tomorrow’s challenges, MITI, as the economic frontliner together with its 13 agencies, will continue its efforts to spearhead initiatives that are progressive and responsive in its bid to resuscitate the economy through various industrial development programmes, investments, and foreign trade. 

MITI and its agencies will mobilise several programmes including the introduction of one-stop centres to assist investors

With an emphasis on economic recovery, MITI has realigned its focus towards digitalisation, automation, Industry 4.0 and sustainability - complying to the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) framework, MyDigital and the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030. Expanding on this, MITI and its agencies are mobilising several programmes:

  • Industry4WRD - focusing on the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and digitisation;
  • Introduce the Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit (PACU) one-stop centre at MIDA to facilitate investors 
  • The launch of the eTRADE 2.0 programme by MATRADE that will enable international market access for local entrepreneurs on a digital platform
  • The introduction of the Prokerja Programme by MARii to help entry-level job seekers; and 
  • MyMudah by MPC as a one-stop centre to assist in removing or reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses

MITI is committed to ensure the nation’s economy continues to steadily recover

These efforts are expected to contribute to the nation’s economic situation which shows signs of recovery. Such were apparent in December 2020 when the economy contracted 1.7 per cent versus 28.7 per cent in April 2020. Unemployment rate improved from 5.3 per cent in May 2020 to 4.8 per cent in December 2020. The decision to reopen economic sectors in stages during MCO 2.0 with full compliance to stricter SOPs, have contributed to the nation’s economic recovery.

International bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank projected that the country’s economy will continue to grow by 7 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively in 2021. The nation’s economic recovery is expected to accelerate with the launch of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme which commenced on 24 February 2021. 

As the leading Ministry in the Economic Cluster, MITI will continue to work hand in hand with other ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Malaysian National Security Council, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to safeguard the nation’s economic development by supporting the intricate balance between public health and economic sustainability.