President’s Message

Tan Sri Azman Hashim

The first half of 2022 began with a rocky start, but as the year progressed, the gradual acclimatisation of the world to the new normal of an endemic COVID saw various encouraging developments. Global growth continued to moderate in the second quarter of the year as a result of the slowdown in major economies, with the IMF projecting 2.9% for 2022 and 3.0% in 2023.

Bank Negara Malaysia had reported that the Malaysian economy in 2Q 2022 recorded an accelerated expansion of 8.9% supported by the reopening of borders, recovery of the consumer-related subsectors, labour market improvements, strong expansion in business-related activities supported by the Government’s policy assistance. Malaysia’s integration into the global value chain and the country’s adaptability had played a key role in trade recovery while its well-developed manufacturing ecosystem had managed to gradually transition and diversify from assembly to value-added activities and R&D activities thus maintaining the country’s strong external demand. This was seen across the economy as businesses adapted to the pandemic and adopted varying degrees of digitalisation to continue their operations on online platforms.

While economic growth is gaining momentum and private sector dynamism is clearly back on track, expectations remain cautiously optimistic as the positive macro indicators are tempered by various risks that can potentially derail the global recovery process. High commodity prices, monetary policy tightening, rising geopolitical tensions, growing financial instability, and in particular, the worsening food insecurity resulting from the devastating impact of climate change, had led to a greater strain on the already stretched thin supply chain. These factors, in turn, have triggered an increase in the volatility of global financial market conditions. Malaysia’s core inflation, increased 0.8% from 1.7% as at 1Q 2022. This trend is expected to continue in 2022.

This post-pandemic era presents the ever-growing need for economies and businesses to accelerate their transition towards the green and sustainability agenda, and adopting a circular economy with a greater focus to ‘build back better’. The implementation of the Government Green Procurement policy and the provision of alternative financing such as green sukuk are encouraging developments in this direction.

The Malaysian Government had also introduced various strategies and initiatives, which included the National Investment Aspirations (NIA), the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint and the National Trade Blueprint 2022 – 2025 to speed up digitalisation, revitalising quality investments and developing a future-ready workforce with the proper skillset to maintain the country’s trade competitiveness and investment attractiveness.

MASSA held its 31st Annual General Meeting on a hybrid basis on 22 June 2022. I would like to thank the Office Bearers and Executive Committee Members who continue to serve the Association till 2023.

I appreciate the continuing support of all Members with your involvement at our regular meetings, events and webinars. I also wish to thank article and feature contributors from across the MASSA network, who have provided valuable and insightful articles for our newsletters and not forgetting the sponsors of our website.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim
25 August 2022