1. Malaysia’s economy grew by 4.7% in Q4 2018
  2. India to remain an important FDI source for Malaysia
  3. Southeast Asian nations beat expectations as globalization hits record high
  4. Airbus to scrap A380 superjumbo production as sales slump
  5. Australia faces a climate crisis
  6. Power outages at offices, MRT stations in central Singapore

The Malaysian economy grew by 4.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018
Malaysia’s economy expanded at 4.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4 2018) after the moderation in the two consecutive quarters. Bank Negara Malaysia said the key drivers of growth in the final quarter were resilient private consumption and the improvement in the commodity-related sectors, amid temporary supply disruptions. Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus (pic) said that on the demand side, growth continued to be anchored by the private sector. “On the supply side, services and manufacturing sectors remained the key drivers of growth,” she said during the briefing on the gross domestic product (GDP) data in Kuala Lumpur today. The services sector grew by 6.9% in Q4 2018, while the manufacturing, mining and quarrying as well as the construction sectors expanded by 4.7%, 0.5% and 2.6% respectively. However, the agriculture sector continued to be a drag on the economy, contracting by 0.4%. For 2018, the economy grew by 4.7% on-year, lower than the 5.9% growth in 2017. However, the GDP growth was in line with a Bloomberg survey of 4.7%. Datuk Nor Shamsiah said Malaysia’s macroeconomic fundamentals continue to remain strong despite domestic and external headwinds. “In 2019, the Malaysian economy is likely to remain on a steady growth path, supported by resilience of private consumption and continuation of civil engineering projects apart from recovery from supply side shocks,” she said.

India to remain an important FDI source for Malaysia
India continues to be one of Malaysia’s important source of foreign direct investment, particularly in the manufacturing sector, and is expected to remain among the top 20 investors in the country. As at September 2018, the Malaysian Investment Authority (MIDA) said a total of 135 manufacturing projects, valued at RM5.5 billion, with participation from India were implemented and in the process, 15,000 jobs were created. “The majority of these investments were in the textile and textile products, chemical and chemical products, paper and printing, non-metallic mineral products, electronics and electrical products and basic metal products,” it said in a statement today.

Southeast Asian nations beat expectations as globalization hits record high
DHL has released the fifth edition of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI) — a detailed analysis of globalization, measured by international flows of trade, capital, information and people. The latest edition of the GCI saw Southeast Asian nations Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam beat expectations by the widest margin, reflecting improved supply chain networks within the region and ASEAN policy initiatives promoting economic integration. Singapore also remains the world’s second most connected country, being the only Asia Pacific country to feature in the Top 10 ranking. Myanmar experienced the biggest improvement, jumping 23 spots to 133rd position. Hong Kong retains its second place behind Singapore on the depth dimension of the Index, which measures the proportion of overall physical, intellectual and human capital that crosses national borders; while Japan and South Korea continue to rank amongst the top 5 in global breadth of the same flows. The 2018 index measures the current state of globalization, as well as individual rankings for each country, based on the depth (intensity of international flows) and breadth (geographical distribution of flows) of countries’ international connections. The world’s top five most globally connected countries in 2017 were the Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium and the United Arab Emirates. Despite Southeast Asia’s rapid advances in trade connectivity, the Asia Pacific region remains less connected to the rest of the world overall than other regions. The new GCI report represents the first comprehensive assessment of developments in globalization across 169 countries and territories since the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the 2016 presidential election in the United States. In spite of growing anti-globalization tensions in many countries, connectedness reached an all-time high in 2017, as the flows of trade, capital, information and people across national borders all intensified significantly for the first time since 2007. Strong economic growth boosted international flows while key policy changes such as US tariff increases had not yet been implemented. The GCI continues to reveal vast differences between levels of globalization in advanced versus emerging economies. Emerging economies trade almost as intensively as advanced economies, but advanced economies are more than three times as deeply integrated into international capital flows, five times for people flows, and almost nine times with respect to information flows. Additionally, while leaders from large emerging markets have become major supporters of globalization on the world stage, emerging economies’ progress catching up in terms of global connectedness has stalled.

Airbus to scrap A380 superjumbo production as sales slump
Europe’s Airbus is scrapping production of the A380 superjumbo, with lacklustre sales forcing it to abandon a dream of dominating the skies with a 21st-century cruiseliner. The world’s largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins and room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing’s legendary 747 but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets. Airbus said on Thursday, the last A380 would be delivered in 2021.

Australia faces a climate crisis
The Australian government has called emergency meetings to address the extreme weather that is currently causing havoc across the country. Large areas of Queensland have been suffering from heavy flooding, while forest fires rage in Tasmania and droughts dry up rivers in New South Wales. Australia is increasingly feeling the impact of climate change, but has been slow to address the root causes. Australian carbon emissions have risen over the past four years, and both the UN and OECD have warned that it is currently not on track to meeting its own climate goals of reducing emissions by 26-28 per cent of its 2005 levels by 2030.

Power outages at offices, MRT stations in central Singapore
Electricity supply to some areas in central Singapore was disrupted on this afternoon, with blackouts reported at several MRT stations. The power outage was caused by equipment failure at the substation serving Carlton Hotel, SP Group said in a Facebook post. The seven MRT stations affected were on the North-East Line: HarbourFront, Outram Park, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Boon Keng and Potong Pasir.