Comments by Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group CEO of CIMB Group
As Malaysia charts its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to see the Malaysian Government’s commitment to drive inclusive and sustainable growth through its 2022 Budget, which looks set to strengthen the country’s economic resilience and rebuild market confidence.
It is optimal that the Government continues to emphasise policies that are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through Budget 2022, the Government has reiterated its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and doubled down on its commitment towards driving the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda, through investments that will stimulate economic activities and growth whilst minimising harm to the environment and our communities.
This commitment includes ensuring alignment with green budgeting to ensure development projects and programmes that support climate resilience, and the provision of financing to support the low carbon transition. Additionally, we welcome the Government’s plans for sustainability sukuk issuance amounting up to RM10 billion in the year ahead to be channelled to qualified social and climate-friendly projects. This is to follow the successful issuance of its dual tranche US$1.3 billion Sukuk Wakala offering this year, where the offering’s US$800 million tranche was the world’s first US dollar sustainability sukuk offered by a sovereign.
As the country continues to grapple with the impact of the prolonged pandemic, we are pleased to see the focus on initiatives that will benefit the B40 group and businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the backbone of our economy. This includes, for example, access to financing for MSMEs and the informal sector. The Government’s initiatives to promote inclusivity by targeting to reduce the income gap, as well as the development gap between states, will lead to a greater income, wealth and social equity. Along with the focus on upskilling and reskilling of workers in Malaysia to enhance productivity, these initiatives may also promote a more broad-based and sustainable recovery in economic growth. The focus on areas such as infrastructure and digitalisation, will also close the digital divide and promote digital inclusion amongst Malaysians.
As a financial intermediary, CIMB plays a critical role in channelling financing and capital in ways that will support the transition towards a net zero economy and greater social equity, and we will continue to play our part in supporting the national recovery agenda as outlined in Budget 2022. Through collaboration with all stakeholders across the private and public sectors and civil society, we are confident that together, we will be able to create a productive and resilient economy that will truly benefit the Rakyat.
Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Group
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