Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia's economic growth is expected to increase further in the second and third quarters of this year, driven by the government's continued efforts to attract foreign investments, as well as the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali was quoted by local media as saying that the 5 percent economic growth recorded in the first quarter of this year is an indication that the country’s economic performance will continue to improve.

This is thanks to the policies and programmes initiated by former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to expedite the country's vaccination programme, and now, more than 98.5 percent of Malaysia’s adult population has been vaccinated, allowing the country to reopen its borders, he said.

Consequently, external demand has been increasing, so local companies, including small and medium enterprises, need to increase their productivity to meet external demand, he held.

He said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, together with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, will continue to strive to attract investments that will create quality employment opportunities for Malaysians.

Mohamed Azmin said his government will also continue to ensure that investors remain confident in the country’s business environment and ecosystem. He added that the country's economy is on the right track to recover from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasising that the government needs some time to ensure all recovery programmes are running smoothly.

Given the current situation, Mohamed Azmin said he has refused calls to hold the 15th General Election in the near future. “We must prioritise the country's economic interest and the people's interests to ensure sustainable growth for the future," he said./.