By Adrian Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2: The manufacturing and agriculture sectors were the main contributors to the economic growth of the country during the Covid-19 pandemic between April to November this year.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs) Arthur Joseph Kurup said a few economic indicators have shown signs of economic recovery for the country in recent months.
For instance, he said the manufacturing index has risen by 2.1 per cent in September 2020 as compared to a contraction of 2.1 per cent in August 2020.
“The sales of manufactured goods have increased by 3.7 per cent in September 2020 to RM121.2 billion and crude palm oil prices (CPO) have climbed up to RM3,422 per tonne recently from the lowest point of RM2,047 per tonne in May this year.
“The Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR 20) rubber price was traded at RM6.33 per kilogramme in November as compared to the lowest price of RM4.73 per kilogramme in April 2020.
“Based on those developments, it means that the manufacturing and agriculture sectors are among the main contributors for the economic growth during Covid-19,” he said in Parliament today.
Arthur was replying to Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang who asked the government as to what are the five biggest economic sectors of the country and which sectors contributed major economic growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Arthur disclosed that the five biggest economic sectors of the country were services which contributed 57.7 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) followed by manufacturing (22.3 per cent), agriculture (7.1 per cent), mining and quarry (7.1 per cent) and construction (4.7 per cent).
He asserted that the economy for the country is expected to return to the growth path next year between 6.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent after projected to contract by 4.5 per cent this year.
To a supplementary question by Rubiah on the efforts by the government to assist the tourism industry which was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Arthur who is also Pensiangan MP said the tourism industry will only be able to chart a recovery path once a vaccine for the virus is available for the public.
He added the recovery for the tourism sector is also depending on foreign countries opening up their borders.
In the meantime, Arthur said the government has rolled out the domestic travel bubble by promoting domestic tourism as part of the efforts to rejuvenate the tourism industry in Malaysia.
He added the economic stimulus packages introduced by the federal government have also managed to lower the unemployment rate to 4.6 per cent in September 2020 from 5.3 per cent in May 2020.
Those include two rounds of wage subsidy schemes amounted to RM18 billion and economic stimulus packages such as the Prihatin Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin), the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) and the Prihatin Supplementary Initiative Package (Kita Prihatin) announced by the federal government.
Arthur added various incentives and assistance announced in Budget 2021 will also aid airline workers who were retrenched and reduce the impact of Covid-19 pandemic for tourism industry players affected by the coronavirus. —DayakDaily