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Luncheon Talk On Labuan IBFC With Heads Of Mission And Foreign Diplomats To Malaysia
WELCOMING SPEECH BY

Y. BHG. DATO’ MOHAMMED AZLAN HASHIM
AUTHORITY MEMBER OF LABUAN FSA

2 JULY 2013
SASANA KIJANG
BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA
Your Excellencies,

Members of the diplomatic communities,

Director-General of Labuan FSA,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen
 

Good morning, 

  • It is my pleasure to welcome you to today’s luncheon talk on the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (IBFC), organized in conjunction with the release of Labuan Financial Services Authority’s (Labuan FSA) annual report for 2012. We are indeed honored of having this opportunity to again host this luncheon talk that brings together Your Excellencies and senior officials from various ministries and agencies.

  • The Chairman of Labuan FSA, Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz is unable to join us today, but sends her greetings and best wishes to everyone here. 

  • This luncheon talk is organized by Labuan FSA to update its important key stakeholders on the progress of the developments in Labuan IBFC. This occasion also aims to facilitate productive dialogue between Labuan FSA and the foreign diplomats of different countries to enhance the business opportunities and the level of trade and investments between Malaysia and the other economies.
 
Your Excellencies

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • We have entered 2013 with a more challenging global economic prospect. The pace of economic recovery in several advanced economies still remains slow and challenging but the economic expansion of emerging economies continue unabated, albeit at a slower pace. This will lend support to the global economic recovery. The IMF Economic Outlook (April 2013) reported that the projected growth in emerging and developing economies is expected to reach 5.3% in 2013 and 5.7% for 2014, while the United States is expected to see 1.9% growth in 2013 and 3% in 2014. The Euro area in turn is forecasted to grow at 0.3% and 1.1% for 2013 and 2014 respectively. 

  • In Asia, the increasing significance of public and private sector investments has boosted domestic demand. Complemented with higher intra-regional trade and investment, the prospects for the sustainability of the growth momentum in the region remain strong. 

  • As a highly open economy with an increasingly liberalized financial system, Malaysia is not insulated from the external weaknesses arising from global developments. However, Malaysia’s economic performance is underpinned by a resilient financial sector with strong macroeconomic fundamentals, anchored by the continued resilience of domestic consumption and private investments and the on-going projects spin-off from the Economic Transformation Programme implemented by the Government. These developments would continue to provide a sustainable growth trajectory to the economic expansion in Malaysia. 

  • This positive trend is translated into strong investor’s confidence in Malaysia with foreign direct investment increasing to RM18.3 billion in first quarter 2013 against RM9.6 billion in the same quarter last year (source: MIDA). In addition, Malaysia remains the top 15 most competitive nations [among other three Asian economies of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan] from out of the 60 economies, according to the latest global ranking survey by the IMD World Competitive Centre recently.
 
Your Excellencies 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • The growth prospects of the emerging markets, particularly in Asia form the basis of the theme of Labuan FSA’s Annual Report 2012, “Connecting Asia’s Economies”. The theme is apt given the dynamics of the economic activities in emerging Asia, and Labuan IBFC is strategically located in the heart of Asia to serve as a gateway to facilitate cross-border trade and investment in the region. 

  • The presence of many diverse international players with cross-border linkages to act as intermediaries in the Labuan IBFC have contributed a wide range of innovative financial services and products to serve the needs of investors in the region. Labuan IBFC is now home to 60 banks, 206 insurance companies, 38 trust companies, 280 leasing companies. 

  • Wealth management is another sector in Labuan IBFC that has posted significant growth recently. Wealth preservation vehicles, such as Labuan foundations are now popularly used by wealth managers in Asia to efficiently manage their clients’ wealth. It is for this reason, Labuan IBFC has designated 2013 as its “Wealth Management Year”. 

  • While the IBFC has registered another successful year in 2012, Labuan FSA will continue to strengthen its regulatory, supervisory and business framework to enhance the financial ecosystem to improve the business environment and product offerings in the Labuan IBFC. Later, the Director-General of Labuan FSA, Mr. Ahmad Hizzad, will brief you on the business, supervisory and regulatory framework as well as the performance of Labuan IBFC. 

  • Once again, on behalf of Labuan FSA, I would like to thank Your Excellencies and other guests for your presence here today. We certainly hope and trust that this event will prompt more business engagement to enhance trade and investment flows between our countries. On this note, I would like to draw my remarks to a close and I wish to call upon Mr. Ahmad Hizzad to the stage.
 

Thank you.
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