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As The 2019 Chair Of The WBG-IMF Southeast Asia Voting Group Constituency, Malaysia Will Continue To Support Multilateralism To Achieve Sustainable Growth As Well As Free And Fair Trade

Malaysia today assumed the role of the chair of the World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund Southeast Asia Voting Group (SEAVG) for the constituency’s 52nd Joint Governors’ Meeting. The meeting was held in Washington DC this morning as part of the 2019 WBG-IMF Annual Meeting comprising of 10 ASEAN countries, Nepal and several Pacific island nations.

During the Joint Governors’ Meeting chaired by me, the meeting discussed about global growth prospects, the effect of trade war, and about the digital economy where Malaysia was cited as a case study. 

The IMF projects the world’s GDP to expand 3.0% this year, a downgrade from its earlier projection of 3.3% partly due to the ongoing trade tensions.

However, global growth is expected to accelerate to 3.4% in 2020 from 3.0% in 2019. The faster 2020 world GDP growth of 3.4% as compared to 2019’s growth rate of 3%, is in tandem with Malaysia’s prospects for Budget 2020’s economic growth projections at a higher rate of 4.8%, as compared to 2019’s expected growth rate of 4.7%

Multilateralism and international collaboration are essential towards ensuring a seamless, coherent and integrated implementation across borders. Multilateralism that benefits all is inclusive and a better outcome than unilateralism that seeks to benefit only one country.

Ultimately, like the trade war between US and China that has caused collateral damage to other countries, unilateralism will make everyone losers. Malaysia will continue to support multilateralism in pursuing free and fair trade, as well as trade liberalization that does not unfairly disadvantage and impose tariffs on developing countries. Malaysia calls on all countries to work towards expanding international collaboration to achieve mutually beneficial trade outcomes.


Sayangi Malaysiaku!

Lim Guan Eng

Minister of Finance
Ministry of Finance Malaysia
18 October 2019