GEORGE TOWN, July 1 — Penang has high expectations that its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow further this year, now that all economic sectors can reopen two years after the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the manufacturing sector is going strong.
"The manufacturing sector grew by about 12 per cent last year and it will continue to grow this year,” he said in a press conference after the opening of the TLM food and beverage expo at Spice Arena here today.
He said even the construction sector saw growth last year even though the residential construction sector did not do well.
"If the residential construction sector recovers and grow this year, the overall construction sector will also continue to grow,” he said.
He said most of the growth in domestic sectors surpassed the national average.
Earlier in his speech, Chow said Penang had the highest GDP at RM99 billion last year, beating other states.
"This is a remarkable rebound of 6.8 per cent from a negative 2.1 per cent two years back in 2020,” he said, referring to figures released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
He hoped Penang’s tourism industry, which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, will recover quickly.
He said the state will need to divert its tourism products and incubate new creative and social enterprises.
"Penang has a number of unique alternative tourism products or sites that have the potential to be developed or promoted further,” he said.
He said the three-day food and beverage expo will draw visitors and tourists to Penang.
The expo, touted to be the largest food exhibition in the northern region, will see an estimated 60,000 visitors over the three days.