KUALA LUMPUR: The government will focus on strengthening the country’s fiscal position by expanding revenue and rationalising expenditure.

It will also identify new sources of growth and implement structural reforms geared towards higher value chains to strengthen growth and enhance competitiveness and productivity in all sectors, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli (pix).

The focus will be on strategic sectors that can expedite new investments and high technology and priority will be given to digitalisation in areas such as electrical and electronics, aerospace, and data centres.

“Focus will also be given to new areas of growth such as smart agriculture and biomass, as well as tourism-related industries,” he told Parliament in response to queries from Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (PN-Pagoh) about the economic recovery, especially in relation to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

On digitalisation and automation among micro and small enterprises, Rafizi said 95 per cent of businesses in Malaysia are small and micro, so their focus is mainly on survival.

“The issue with digitalisation for them is how its application can increase their income.

“So a few weeks from now, a few initiatives will be launched to ensure the understanding and compatibility between innovation and digitalisation as well as the daily needs of the micro and small enterprise so that there will be wider acceptance and use of (digital applications),” he added.

For the vulnerable groups, Rafizi said the government will expand opportunities for the B40 income group as well as the hardcore poor to sustain their income.

Previously under the People’s Income Initiative (IPR), the government targeted 100,000 hardcore poor and B40 households to deliver aid.

“We will monitor them for 24 months and target an additional 50,000 such households by 2024,” he added.

For 2023, Malaysia’s economy is expected to expand by 4.5 per cent, from 8.7 per cent last year. -Bernama