KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the establishment of the World Bank Group Office in Kuala Lumpur goes to show that Malaysia is one of the most favoured location in the region for international organisations and businesses.
Despite the global headwinds and uncertainties, the premier also said that the local economy continued to expand by five per cent last year, supported by resilient domestic demand and steady expansion in the services, construction and manufacturing sectors.
“Our fundamentals are strong. We are proud of our record and of our continued insistence on taking the right decisions for Malaysia and our economy, so that we do not err from the course of building a sustainable and inclusive future for all Malaysians,” he said at the launch of the World Bank Group office here today.
The office will also be a regional research hub which would focus on regional and global development policies. This, he said, would contribute to the highly regarded World Bank Doing Business Report and provide operational support for dialouges, enterprise and commerce in South East, East and South Asia.
Meanwhile, Najib said the office was also expected to be knowledge hub, bringing together Malaysia and World Bank experts in areas where both parties can share each other’s experiences of growth with other World Bank members, in particular developing economies.
“Among the key areas which others can draw on what we have done and learnt are growth poverty reduction, public sector performance, providing modern and integrated financial services and,economic planning and development. The office presence here in Malaysia will also provide opportunities for talented Malaysians through a programme which will have selected individuals from the public sector seconded to the World Bank Office,” he said.
He also added that this arrangement will indeed be mutually beneficial and enriching experience for all parties. The Prime Minister also applauded the bank’s continuous support of Malaysia’s development agenda while recognising efforts made by the government.
In the meantime, he also said that they will look forward to working closely with the World Bank Group to share their development experience and also help to achieve the twins goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting the prosperity for all in the region and globally.
Present was Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz and World Bank Regional Vice-President for East-Asia and Pacific Axel van Trotsenburg.