KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 21): The country's economy is expected to show a positive development by the middle of this year once the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which begins on Wednesday, gathers momentum, an economist said.
Malaysian Academy of Sciences fellow Datuk Dr Madeline Berma said economists predicted that Malaysia would be able to revive its economy starting the third quarter of this year, depending on the smooth implementation of the vaccination programme.
"This is in line with the forecast issued by the Economic Planning Unit which expects the country's economy to recover around 4.5- to 5.0%," she said in a special coverage of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrival to Malaysia on BernamaTV on Sunday.
Madeline said the services sector was one of the sectors that needed to be given priority in the vaccination programme, besides the manufacturing sector to help increase production rates.
She hopes with the national immunisation programmme underway, the country's tourism and export sectors could also be mobilised again to open more economic opportunities for industry players.
"The country's tourism and export sectors have been badly affected by the closure of national borders since the Movement Control Order was imposed," she said.
Meanwhile, Madeline said investments from international pharmaceutical companies in the research and production of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country could help reduce the unemployment rate.
She said the potential for collaborative research and vaccine production in the country would open up opportunities for recruitment of highly skilled graduates.
"We hope the presence of pharmaceutical companies that could create jobs will drive the country's economy and instils confidence in foreign and local investors that the country's economy is growing and recovering well with a good cycle.
"This is a good development in the effort towards a high-tech country, in line with the launch of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint," she said.
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