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BERITAEKONOMIWorld Debt Crisis: Malaysia Is In The Safe Lane

World Debt Crisis: Malaysia Is In The Safe Lane

Pencapai Ekonomi Malaysia

The global economic crisis which we faced during 1997/98 has recovered on the third quarter of 2009. However, the growth is beginning to slow down this year, 2012. The global economy often depend on the status of developed countries and as for state economy, that usually depend on debt crisis as well as market confidence.

Today, global debt has increased to USD1 trillion with only slow growth. According to the report from the Global Wealth 2012 ran by Credit Suisse Research Institute, the total household debt rose to more than U.S. $ 1 trillion, debt to asset ratio increased on average by 50 cent from 2000 to 2008.

In a way, countries which has a comfortable economic status tend to have higher household debt.

Position on ratio of debt to assets in developed countries like the United States and United Kingdom shows the same pattern where they increase drastically from 2008 and it went down to around 20% in 2011-2012. The Economist reported that the record percentage of U.S. public debt from the GDP is at 74.2% or USD36,873.70 per capita and UK at 90.6% or USD35,325.24 per capita.

In Europe, taking Italy as an example, recorded debt to assets ratio of 11.1% in 2012, one of the lowest in the world but it is a substantial increase since it started on a low base. However, the total public debt in Italy registered a 120.7% percentage of GDP or USD40, 590.48 per capita.

Spain debt to asset ratio, however, recorded a 90% higher than in 2000 and there are no signs of decline while public debt percentage of GDP is 73.2% or about USD21, 837.18 per capita.

France recorded a debt to asset ratio of 12.8%, representing a decrease of 10% from ten years ago for improving assets. French public debt figures recorded 89.8% of GDP or USD36, 723.23 per capita.

Germany also succeeded in lowering the ratio of 24.3% in 2000 to just 16.4% this year. German public debt position stood at 82.8% of GDP or USD34, 224.93 per capita.

Singapore is reported to almost achieve the same performance as Germany in decreasing their debt while Malaysia and Philippine, according to Credit Suisse Research Institute’s report, was not clear, but both the countries probably have good records.

However, according to The Economist, position of Malaysia’s public debt to GDP is 56.7%, or USD5, 903.21 per capita, the Philippines 46.6% or USD1, 209.84 per capita, and Singapore 96.4% or USD50, 074.83 per capita.

Just like any other countries, Malaysia also could not avoid from getting the impact from the debt and economic crisis from America and Europe. The economic status in those developed countries has resulted in a decrease in the global market. Malaysia was affected with the situation through international trade and commodity prices. It also caused the global financial uncertainty, thus, affecting the financial position for Malaysia which made its impact on household income.

Due to that, the various warnings about the high debt position was never been taken for granted by the government.

Malaysia is lucky because the government often ensure that we would have various exports and we do not only depend on electrical components alone. Instead, the government even covers other manufacturing industries, other than commodity. This also means that Malaysia has greater trading partners and it does not have to depend too much on developed countries. In 2011, 47% of Malaysia’s exports goes to Asian countries, while only 30.2% to the U.S. and Europe.

Taking note from the decrease in private investments since the Asian economic crisis in 1997 probably became an obstacle for economic growth, the government began to outline several strategic transformation to revitalize the private sector under the New Economic Model. They include developing a quality workforce and reducing foreign labor, building basic infrastructures, increasing resources and others.

To date, the measures taken by Malaysia has already demonstrated success in the Economic Report 2012/2013 by the Ministry of Finance where funds raised by the private sector through private sector debt securities increased significantly by 97.9 per cent to RM70.9 billion for the first seven months of 2012 compared to 67.7 per cent increase to RM35.8 billion previously.

Gross funds raised in the capital market increased significantly by 46.3 per cent to RM155.5 billion in the first seven months of this year and it has been supported mainly by the needs on infrastructure financing compared with 31.8 per cent increase to RM106.3 billion in the same period last year.

Funds raised by the public sector also grew 3.3 per cent to RM64.3 billion in the first seven months of 2012 compared with RM62.2 billion, an increase of 47.6 percent for the same period last year.

That is why, Malaysia could expect consistent growth even if the global economy became unstable.

The Malaysian government’s ability to look forward and making early preparations to face the world debt issue should be complimented. Without such performance, Malaysia might not have been able to achieve such great record.

Even though some still question the abilities and performance by the government, but the fact is, entrepreneurs around the world knows best. This is proven through the increase in foreign direct investment which came from the confidence of investors. The record on foreign direct investment which fell from RM24.1 billion in 2008 to RM5 billion in 2009 went up to RM29 billion in 2010 and to RM33 billion in 2011.

Malaysia is in second as the most competitive countries in Asia, 6th in Asia Pacific and 25th in the world. Malaysia is currently ranked 10th in the list of most reliable country for foreign investment, a huge leap from 21st back in 2010.



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