KUALA LUMPUR: Johor's economy is resilient and its gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to continue to grow around one percent above the national level this year and in 2017.

Its Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (pix), said the state's GDP was projected to grow by between five and 5.5% this year and might continue to outperform the federal level in 2017.

"We will ensure that Johor's economy continues to grow. The state government has set up a strong foundation and has clear policies to ensure that Johor become not only southern Peninsular Malaysia's economic powerhouse but also the region's," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the 2016 Umno general assembly here today.

He said Johor was confident that when it achieved good economic growth, this would contribute to a successful Malaysia.

Johor is the fourth largest contributor to the nation's GDP with a cumulative growth for 2014 and 2015 of 8.5%, behind Selangor, Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory and Sarawak.

"In the recent Johor Budget 2017, we have presented six strategies to further propel the state's economy," he said.

Mohamed Khaled, who is an Umno Supreme Council member, said Johor attracted a steady flow of investments due to its political stability, competitive costs of doing business, a pool of skilled workers and lower crime rate.

He said it was worth mentioning that the GDP growth of Iskandar Malaysia was higher than the state's and this helped Johor's growth to exceed the national headline figure.

"In ensuring continuous growth, we must have the right policies to overcome risk of disparity.

"That is why our policies aimed to ensure the rakyat's well-being. They are supported not via charity but by creating opportunities for them," he said.

On revenue, Mohamed Khaled said, as of early December, the state government has collected 99% of the estimated revenue of RM1.42 billion.

Under the Johor Budget 2017, which was tabled recently, Mohamed Khaled said the state's revenue collection for 2017 was set to reach RM1.61 billion, 12.9% better compared with 2016's.

The state allocated RM1.61 billion for expenditure, 12.9% higher compared with this year.

He said the budget would have a surplus of RM1.30 million, the seventh year in a row since 2011.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak recently expected the country's GDP growth to accelerate to five percent next year, from a projected four percent to 4.5% for 2016.

Source: Bernama