Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for this year remains intact at between 5-6 per cent, boosted by a strong inflow of long-term capital in the form of private investments to support its continued expansion.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said in the first quarter of this year, total approved investments stood at RM49.3 billion, representing an increase of 44 per cent over the same period of 2012.
"For the first quarter of the year, we achieve growth of 4.1 per cent and believe we easily reach the five per cent. Normally, we start off slowly but improve into the subsequent quarters.
"We also have a very strong domestic economy which includes public expenditure, private investment and private consumption," he told a press conference after his keynote address at the 17th Malaysian Banking Summit in Kuala Lumpur today.
Ahmad Husni said the financial sector played an important role in
Malaysia's economic development, employing over 145,000 people and contributing 12 per cent to Malaysia's GDP.
He added the country's banking system was also a catalyst for growth and the development of other economic sectors, by ensuring optimal allocation of capital and resources.
"The Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020 developed by Bank Negara Malaysia reinforces the government's initiatives to drive Malaysia to become a fully-developed nation by 2020, while keeping the development and growth agenda to be inclusive and sustainable," he said.
Ahmad Husni said the financial inclusion was another major focus of the blueprint, to ensure the people's participation, while benefiting from the nation's economic development and prosperity.
"This is also through better and more affordable access to financial services such as banking, insurance and payment services," he added.
Ahmad Husni said in developing a financial sector that best served Malaysia's vision for 2020, it was also imperative that careful attention is given to the stability of the financial system.