The Malaysian Economy: Booming
Following a period of severe and prolonged recession, the Malaysian economy has returned to growth aided by a relaxation of monetary and fiscal policies and by increased export demand, particularly in the electronics sector. While the world economic slowdown was more severe than expected and the unprecedented September 11 events in the United States had widespread implications for all economies, Malaysia was able to steer away from a major economic contraction and GDP growth for the year remained in positive territory. However, given the openness of its economy with trade accounting for about 200 percent of GDP, Malaysia was not spared from the negative effects of the United States economic slowdown. These effects came in the form of declining manufacturing production and negative export growth, particularly of electronics. Nevertheless, the government?s initiation of strong monetary and fiscal policies to stimulate economic growth through accelerating domestic economic activities and reducing the over-dependence on exports helped the nation to sustain a positive real GDP growth.
Since 1998 the Government has relaxed the equity guidelines for investment in the manufacturing sector. Foreigners can now own 100% equity regardless of the level of exports and several incentives have also been
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