Ways To Support Your National EconomyChen Wan Lim
There has been a lot of talk lately on how Malaysians can help support our local economy given the tough global financial situation we are in. Supporting our local economy is important as far as from a financial standpoint, utilising local services and products will spur local growth and development. Also, supporting local products and services will help create jobs and help increase local productivity, which translates to wages growth. Sourcing local products will also curb outflow of the Malaysian Ringgit and hence, strengthen the currency. As consumers, here’s how we can all do our part in supporting our local economy:
Think local, buy local
Whenever possible, try buying locally manufactured goods. For example, buy locally assembled or locally made cars as a large chunk of the parts are sourced from local manufacturers. It is even possible to buy locally produced groceries. For fresh produce, look for ‘Product of Malaysia’ labels or shop at wet markets and for packed items, looked for ‘Made in Malaysia’ labels. Buying locally manufactured goods will allow the local industry to thrive, keep the money flow local and to keep prices of local goods low.
Malaysia has approximately 120 universities, consisting local universities, polytechnics, private universities and colleges and university colleges. These are all high quality accredited institutions offering all levels of education. Studying locally will not only be cheaper but it will support the local education industry. If one is seeking foreign degrees, there are currently 11 international university branches in Malaysia. The tuitions fees might be the same but the cost of living in Malaysia is comparatively lower than that of western countries.
Engage local services
If you are running a business, engage local service providers as opposed to foreign services. For example, if you have a business website, engage with a local host as opposed to a host outside the country. For accounting services, engage a local outfit compared with large foreign accounting firms. In addition, conduct your business banking with local banks as this will help generate jobs for the local financial services industry.
According to Forbes, Malaysia is one of the top five countries booming with tourist, especially for the medical tourism sector. Malaysia has been encouraging local tourism for the past few decades to encourage local spending and to curb outflow of local currency. Therefore, for your next family getaway, try planning a local holiday to the islands, highlands or to a town you have not been to before.