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IMF: Strong ownership, enhanced dialogue needed in economic reform

KUALA LUMPUR: A major push for structural reform in an economy requires strong ownership by all stakeholders of the reform agenda as well as enhanced dialogue between the government with business and civil society, says the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF said in its blog that while there has been broad agreement on the economic benefits of structural reforms, the political impact is less settled because it would only generate gains in the longer term while inflicting short-term pain on some sectors.

It said those affected might be highly vocal and when this happens, politicians might hold back on reforms for fear they would be penalised at the ballot box.

“Policymakers should factor in any harm reforms might have on income distribution and take well-communicated upfront steps to offset such side effects.

“Strong social safety nets and active labour market programmes that help displaced workers find new jobs can help in this regard, given that reforms often mean simultaneous job creation and destruction,” it said.

In its research, the IMF said reforms are generally benign or even favourable politically when implemented swiftly after elections so that governments could reap the rewards from the medium-term economic gains.

On the other hand, electoral risks are heightened when governments delay and enact reforms on the eve of an election, given short-term dislocation effects often wrought by reforms.

The IMF said reforms do not seem to lead to political costs when enacted at times of robust economic activity whereas it would be more challenging politically under weak economic conditions.

“Even when economic conditions are difficult, though, governments may be able to implement reforms without an electoral penalty. For example, the cases of Spain in 1979 and Peru in 1995 show that crisis periods often present unique reform opportunities that do not necessarily incur political costs.

“What it takes is strong ownership by leaders to build consensus in society that reform with stabilisation is unavoidable. In both cases, new governments instituted reforms during periods of slowing growth and high inflation and were returned to office with solid shares of the vote,” it added. — Bernama


RM180m export value generated at IGEM 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 – The International Sourcing Programme (INSP) generated export value worth RM180 million at the recent International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM 2019), indicating a growing interest…


MPOA sees business as usual amid India palm oil curbs threat

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Given the strong bilateral trade relationship between Malaysia and India, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) is of the view that business will be as usual for both countries despite news that India is considering…


AirAsia goes A321neo to boost load factor, expansion

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — AirAsia will start receiving its Airbus A321neo from the end of 2019, which would enable it to further improve efficiency and boost capacity to routes such as Singapore where the slots have been maxed out, chief executive…


AirAsia sees inflight Wi-Fi as next income source

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — AirAsia has been exemplary in using digital and disruptive technologies in increasing its ancillary income, including the introduction of inflight Wi-Fi, which is expected to create a US$130 billion (RM544.2 billion) global…


Bursa Malaysia to track higher global equity momentum next week

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Bursa Malaysia is expected to trend higher next week, tracking the global equity momentum, amid a stronger Wall Street performance and possible Brexit deal. Phillip Capital Management senior vice-president (investment) Datuk…


Ringgit to continue trading on cautious note

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — The ringgit is expected to trade on a cautious note next week on continuous global trade uncertainties involving major world economies. An analyst said the United States (US)-China trade tensions has continued to dampen the…


DPM: Malaysia welcomes more FDI from China

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Malaysia is in a strategic position to welcome more foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2019 and beyond, especially from China, with the support of the thriving Hakka community in the country. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk…


Econpile bags RM44m contract for Tropicana Gardens

PETALING JAYA: Econpile Holdings Bhd has been awarded a RM44 million contract for demolition, earthworks, piling and substructure works for the Tropicana Gardens mixed development.

The Tropicana Gardens mixed development comprises a 42-storey commercial block housing 630 units of serviced apartments and 397 small office, flexible office (SoFo) units.

The overall duration of the contract is estimated to be 16 months, and is expected to contribute positively to the group in the financial years ending June 30, 2020 till FY2021.

This latest win comes on the heels of the RM20.8 million contract secured from Tropicana Metropark Sdn Bhd to undertake earthworks, soil nailing works, piling and pilecap and basement lowest floor slab works for the Tropicana Metropark mixed development in Subang Jaya.

In a statement today, Econpile CEO Raymond Pang said winning another contract from the same client signified a strong vote of confidence in the group’s technical capabilities and commitment to timely deliveries.

“The latest awards of property development projects, especially in a tough economic landscape highlights our competitive edge in this sector as we continue to secure challenging contracts that require our specialist expertise in deep foundation works to support high-rise buildings.

“With the group’s most recent win, Econpile has secured RM72.7 million worth of contracts in the financial year-to-date. We possess a strong current orderbook of approximately RM850 million, which would provide earnings visibility over the next two years,” he said.

Other projects in the group’s orderbook include mixed development projects such as Pavilion Damansara Heights, TNB mixed development and Terra Putrajaya mixed development, as well as infrastructure contracts like Light Rail Transit 3 – Package GS04 and Hospital Kuala Lumpur Station of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit 2.


Ringgit ends lower against US dollar on global uncertainties

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The ringgit ended on a lower note today due to global uncertainties as well as declining oil prices. At 6pm, the local note was quoted at 4.1850/1880 against the greenback compared with yesterday’s close of 4.1780/1830….