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Boost local consumption to offset effects from US-China trade war: Azmin

03 Aug 2019 / 15:34 H.

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia will need to boost its domestic consumption if it is to weather the storm wrought by the US-China trade war.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said that domestic consumption has been powering the economy for over a decade and it remains a strong focus for the country to rely on in order to sustain growth despite a sluggish external environment.

He admitted that a prolonged US-China trade war is of concern as both countries are the big trading partners with Malaysia.

The Economic Affairs Minister said the focus now was on attracting domestic investors to boost the economy while urging the private sector to be cognisant of business opportunities that would emerge from the fallout of the trade war.

He also urged lenders to be more flexible in approving loans to first-time house buyers despite the concerns over the high household debt in the country.

Azmin feels the Asean region with a population of 575 million people presents foreign companies an opportunity to relocate in the event punitive tariffs are imposed by either US or China.

“It is a large market to tap and investors should realise this.”

Meanwhile, Azmin said the proposal to turn Kulim into an international cargo airport for the northern region is a good move.

He said that the international airport in Penang has almost reached its maximum capacity due to an acute shortage of land.

“So it was logical to locate a cargo airport in Kulim,” he said.

Azmin was speaking to the media after he presenting keys to some 300 homeowners of the Casa Anggun affordable apartments scheme at Sungai Nibong here.

The apartments were constructed by JKP Sdn Bhd, the development arm of the Penang Bumiputra Development Council here.

Since its inception in 1995, the JKP has constructed up to 25,000 affordable units for eligible families here.

In Selangor a similar project was initiated by Azmin when he was the mentri besar.

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