Malaysia 's economy is projected to grow at a stronger pace of 5 to 5.5 percent next year in tandem with an improved global economic outlook.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the growth will be driven by private investment, expanding 12.7 percent, and private consumption, 6.2 per cent, while exports of goods are expected to grow by 2.5 percent due to improving external demand.

On supply side, he said, the construction sector is expected to grow by 9.6 percent, followed by the services sector, 5.7 percent.

Tabling Budget 2014 at the Parliament on October 25, PM Najib said the unemployment rate is estimated at 3.1 percent while the inflation rate will remain low at 2-3 percent.

Regarding per-capita income for next year, Najib said it is expected to reach 34,126 RM (11,000 USD), an increase of 37 percent as compared to that in 2008.

The Malaysian PM also expressed his belief that the country can achieve the per-capita income target of 15,000 USD in 2020 and even possible to achieve the developed nation status much earlier than 2020.

According to Najib, who is also Finance Minister, this year the global economy will grow at a slower pace of 2.9 percent. However, as a highly open economy, Malaysia is not spared from the modest growth.

The country's strong economic fundamentals and accommodative monetary policy will enable it to grow at a sustainable pace, he said.

In fact, the economy grew 4.2 percent in the first half of this year.
On foreign direct investment, PM Najib said, in the first half of this year, the country's FDI reached 18.2 billion RM (nearly 6 billion USD), an increase of 14,5 percent as compared to the same period last year.

International reserves also remained strong at 444.9 billion RM (141.3 billion USD) by October 14, sufficient to finance 9.7 months of retained imports.

For the whole of 2013, the domestic economy is expected to expand between 4.5-5 percent, according to Bernama.-VNA