Continuous investments in key sectors including for infrastructure development and housing, will help sustain Malaysia’s economic growth, says major cement producer Lafarge Malaysia Bhd.
“We need to look at this from a global perspective. Even though there is an economic slowdown, Malaysia is, relative to other economies, dynamic and still growing,” president and chief executive officer Thierry Legrand told Bernama in an email.
The Malaysian government is expected to announce several adjustments to Budget 2016 on Jan 28, after taking into account Malaysia’s falling revenue from lower oil prices and uncertainties in the global economy.
However, Business School Dean at Malaysia University of Science and Technology Dr Yeah Kim Leng held his view to the contrary.
He opined that the Government needed to relook its long-term infrastructure spending in Budget 2016 as one of its balancing act to mitigate the impact of depreciating oil prices and challenging economic environment in China.
“Bigger projects can be delayed until the economic conditions recovers,” Yeah added.
Lafarge, in turn, hopes that the Government would continue with infrastructure projects planned as they have a multiplier effect.
“These projects sustain growth and lay the foundation for future growth in the coming decade. For example, the Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit projects will boost the local economy through the development of properties and businesses along the urban rail lines,” Legrand said.
As for the high-speed train between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, he said it would stimulate both countries’ economies.
On the ringgit’s volatility, he maintained that the foreign exchange impact on the cement producer was limited as its biggest purchase of key raw materials in US dollar was coal.
“The foreign exchange impact is positively offset by declining global coal prices, while our exports, which are denominated in US dollars, benefit from positive foreign exchange impact,” he said.
As at 2.53pm, the local unit was traded higher at 4.3750/3790 against the US dollar.
Going forward, Lafarge will focus to grow its business in Malaysia through its involvement in building and infrastructure projects.
The company will continue to invest in differentiating itself, putting its customers’ needs first and adding value to their businesses through Lafarge’s solutions and services.
Malaysian Infrastructure investment to sustain economic growth, says Lafarge