Roundup: Malaysian experts upbeat about China’s economic recovery from virus outbreak

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — Malaysian experts have recently expressed confidence in China’s economic recovery from the setbacks caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

They said they believe that any slowdown in China would be temporary, thanks to the size and status of the Chinese economy in the global supply chain.

Economics professor Yeah Kim Leng, of Sunway University, praised the efforts made by the Chinese government to contain the virus and to mitigate its impact on the economy.

“The Chinese government has already taken several stimulus measures to offset the economic slowdown caused by the epidemic outbreak,” he said.

“Due to its large economic size and concerted efforts to support growth, the Chinese economy is likely to rebound as soon as the spread of the virus is contained, and the daily life and economic activities return to normal,” said the expert.

“The combination of government stimulus measures, recovery and pent-up demand could restore the economy to its 6-percent growth trajectory,” Yeah added.

Meanwhile, the economics professor said, intervention by the authorities and financial institutions will be necessary.

He noticed that Malaysia has taken steps to help affected sectors ride out any slowdown in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

“It is heartening to note that some banks are already providing some financing flexibility and relief to affected firms and individuals. The government may need to allocate some emergency funds to help the firms stay in business and not to reduce jobs,” he said.

Oh Ei Sun, principal advisor for Malaysia’s Pacific Research Center, said the challenges generated by the outbreak may lead to improved practices to mitigate any similar occurrence in the future.

“As China enters a new normal state of economy, the outbreak would further dent the growth figures in the short term. In the long run, however, as the outbreak subsides, the Chinese economy would no doubt rebound,” he said.

Oh added that the situation would lead to stricter requirements on China’s part for quality products and services, which would in turn restore confidence in the country both at home and abroad.

“The quality of production, as well as all sorts of standard procedures for strict hygienic requirements will be improved,” he said.

Lee Heng Guie, executive director of Malaysia’s Socio-Economic Research Center, expected that the Chinese economy will rebound in the second half of this year, adding that the Chinese government has the policy tools to counteract the impact of the novel coronavirus on the economy.

“China will definitely stabilize and rebound in 2H 2020 (second half of 2020) if the outbreak is contained and stabilized towards the second quarter,” he said.

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