President’s Message

Tan Sri Azman Hashim

2022 was a tumultuous period for global markets. Many economies around the world continue to grapple with COVID-19. The prolonged Russia – Ukraine War which begun in January 2022 resulted in supply chain bottlenecks and disruptions, labour market pressures, rising inflation and market volatility. The climate change crisis continues unabated across the globe.

In this challenging context, central banks worldwide, including Bank Negara Malaysia, have turned to raising interest rates. The World Bank forecasted in its June 2022 Report that global growth would moderate from 5.7% in 2021 to an average of 3% in 2023 – 2024. Indications are that the world may be edging towards a global recession in 2023.

Bank Negara Malaysia reported that Malaysia Q3 GDP grew by 14.2%, highest in over a year, and predicts that headline inflation for 2022 had peaked in this quarter, hitting 4.5%, while core inflation was recorded at 3.7%. This growth was supported by robust demand for exports, improvements in labour market and income conditions, strong household spending, and higher capital expenditure. Overall, the Malaysian economy for 2022 is expected to remain robust given the strong performance in the first three quarters of this year.

Going forward into 2023, in spite of the of the downward risks posed by weaker-than-expected global growth, higher risk aversion in global financial markets, geopolitical conflict escalation and re-emergence of supply chain disruptions. I am cautiously optimistic that the Malaysian economy in 2023 will continue to expand, with Bank Negara estimating an expansion by 4.0 – 5.0% – driven primarily by domestic demand. Malaysia’s diversified export base, bolstered by opportunities presented by the RCEP and CPTPP, and Malaysia’s external resilience built on the nation’s large foreign currency external assets and well-capitalised banking system can help Malaysia cushion the headwinds and adverse spillover effects.

MASSA looks forward to working closely with the newly installed Government of Malaysia under the leadership of YAB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and to work closely with our ex-officio partners, MITI, Wisma Putra, MIDA and MATRADE.

MASSA will step-up its collaboration with associates in the business community and in the South-South regions to highlight innovative solutions and business linkage opportunities for members.

I appreciate the continuing support and cooperation of all members, especially my fellow Executive Committee members, and ex-officio partners with your attendance, support and contributions at our regular meetings & events and not forgetting the sponsors of our website.

I also wish to thank all who have contributed valuable and insightful articles to our Newsletter for 2022.

My best wishes to everyone for happy, healthy and successful 2023.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim
1 December 2022