Tue, 18 May 2010 04:16:17 GMT | By Shaza Dzulkifly

Strong economy boosts Malaysian currency

The growing ringgit currency has brought cheer to many Malaysians.


Ringgit, Asia's best performing currency in 2010 has appreciated by 6% against the US dollar, 19% against the euro and 16% against the British pound on the back of stronger economic fundamentals and higher interest rates.

Parents whose children are studying overseas would appreciate the news the most; they would not have to dig too deep into their pockets to finance overseas study.

Ringgit soaring high in 2010 (© AP Photo)

Travel agents can also expect a bang in Malaysians holidaying abroad since it will be much cheaper to travel.

The rise of the currency follows Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's announcement that the economy grew by 10.1% in the first quarter of the year, the highest in over a decade.

"It is a natural progression due to the strong economic recovery, the fundamentals and our exports are doing very well," Najib told reporters at the Official Monetary and Financial Institution Forum (OMFIF) inaugural meeting in Asia.

At the meeting themed 'Asia's Role in the World Economy- the New Global Financial and Economic Order' Najib said a strong currency also reflected the fact that Malaysian exports had been doing very well.

In his address earlier, Najib mentioned the challenges that arose from the international financial crisis presented an opportunity for Asia and the West to work together to find solutions that benefited all.

"Malaysia's unfolding economic story is a part of what is taking place in Asia. While Asia is indeed diverse, we are bound together by the common desire to transform and uplift our economies individually, which in turn will reinforce the region's economic and financial integration in the New World Order."

"We are looking beyond Asean. We are also looking at how to get the United States and Russia on board. We want a stronger bridge in Europe and believe in open integration," Najib added.

Najib, who briefed the delegates on the 1Malaysia concept, New Economic Model and Government Transformation Programme, told that people were seeking effective governance where economic growth was inclusive and beneficial for all.

On how to survive the economic crisis, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said Asia's resilience, including Malayisia's, was a result of a decade of reform.

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