Malaysia offers incentives to boost growth in 2020 budget

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's government is offering investment incentives and wide-ranging financial goodies for ethnic Malays and the poor but is hiking taxes for the rich in a smaller national budget for 2020 seen as appeasing critics in its second year in power.

The budget predicts economic growth will inch up to 4.8% from 4.7% this year as the U.S.-China trade war casts a shadow on global growth.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says the 2020 budget will focus on driving growth and building on institutional reforms that began last year after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's alliance won a stunning election victory.

Lim said Friday that the fiscal deficit will hit 3.2% of GDP instead of the targeted 3%, due to fiscal measures to bolster growth and unanticipated expenditures to rescue troubled institutions.