Standard Chartered Malaysia welcomes the government’s targeted measures as spelt out in the Budget 2019 to enhance the well-being of the rakyat, particularly the lower income group.
Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO, of Standard Chartered Malaysia, says Budget 2019 reflects significant strategies and initiatives to address the need of the rakyat, especially those in the Bottom-40.
“While we see that the nations’ GDP-to-debt ratio and deficit has increased, we are nevertheless encouraged by the measures to promote growth, attract investment, reduce cost of mega projects, and the focus on private-public partnerships to drive the economy,” he adds.
The bank also applauds the move by the government to invest in the future and move into the Industrial Revolution 4.0 through the High Impact Fund.
Artificial Intelligence, Abrar believes, will be a huge boost to the financial services industry as it helps to improve the client experience, lower costs and reduce fraud.
“Moving forward, Artificial Intelligence and digitisation are two areas in which we see great potential, especially for the financial services sector, which should tap into the infinite potential of technology to innovate and improve the client experience, lower costs and improve security.”
“We also see the government continue to prioritise Islamic financing. Standard Chartered is the first international bank to offer Islamic products in the country, and we laud the move to grow this sphere via an extension on tax deductions when issuing sukuk,” he says, welcoming the setting up of a special committee for Islamic finance, to be led by the Finance Ministry.
These, he believes, will ensure that Malaysia continues to lead the way in Islamic financing
“We also see the government doing its part to grow the halal product industry in Malaysia and make us a global halal hub by 2020, with an RM100 million allocation to grow the SME segment.”
“We also laud the further allocation of MYR1 billion for a Shariah-compliant SME Financing Scheme to finance halal products exporters by Islamic financial institutions,” he adds.