Navigating Malaysia’s Policy Challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the High-Income Hurdle: Optimising trade-offs and harnessing complementarities

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Prof Woo Wing Thye's presentation deck

Prof Yeah Kim Leng's presentation deck

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a 5.6% contraction of the Malaysian economy in 2020. Its GDP growth however improved to -0.5% year-on-year in the first quarter from -3.4% in the previous quarter, but the recovery appears to be dented by still high Covid-19 infection rates and the second nation-wide lockdown on 1 June. Exports, which have been exceeding pre-pandemic levels since June 2020, surged 63% in April this year, attesting to the robustness of the country’s export engine, not only to support a faster recovery from the pandemic in the short term but, importantly, to lead the country’s growth and transformation to a more resilient and high-income nation by 2025. What are trade-offs between short and long policies, fiscal versus monetary, lives versus livelihoods and various other public policy and allocation issues? Are there complementarities among the various policy options that the government and private sector can harness to achieve sustainable growth and higher standard of living? The recent World Bank report on “Aiming High: Navigating the next stage of Malaysia’s development” contains comprehensive policy prescriptions. The panel discussion aims to contribute to the continuing policy deliberations on the optimal policy mix and implementation priorities to attain the nation’s short and medium to long term goals.

Tentative Programme

2:00 pm                               Welcome remarks by Emcee

2:05 pm                               Introduction by Moderator

2:20 pm                               Panel Discussion

3:05 pm                               Q&A Session

3:30 pm                               End

Panellists

former Vice-Chancellor
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia;
Head of Economics and Management Cluster
National Council of Professors

Moderator

President
Malaysian Economic Association

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