Boycott movement has minimal economic impact, workers affected slightly

KUALA LUMPUR: The boycott movement, especially among food and beverage (F&B) businesses which are alleged to have ties with Israel, has had less direct impact on the national economy, but has slightly affected the employment sector.

The Economy Ministry said this is because the contribution of the F&B sub-sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is small, which is 2.3 per cent in 2023 and 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2024.

The tendency of consumers to switch to locally branded business products also balances the impact and hence, further increases the domestic economic activities.

“Although the boycott movement is still continuing, Malaysia continues to record encouraging economic growth, which is 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2024, supported by resilient domestic economic activities,” said the ministry in a written reply posted on the official Parliament’s website on Tuesday.

However, the ministry said there has been an increase in the number of workers who have lost their jobs based on the Employment Insurance System Report by the Social Security Organisation (Socso).

For the period from January to May 2024, a total of 22,315 workers lost their jobs compared to 18,026 for the same period in 2023, which is an increase of 23.8 per cent.

Of this total, 1,091 workers or 4.9 per cent are workers in the accommodation and food service activities sector.

The ministry said a total of 583 workers or 50.7 per cent of the reported job losses were due to business closures and downsizing.

“This job loss data is in general and not skewed to the food and beverage sector only,” he said. –BERNAMA

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