Malaysia is expected to achieve a high-income economy between 2024 and 2028, but the country needs further reforms so it could join the ranks of other leading economies, according to World Bank Group.
In its latest report entitled “Aiming High — Navigating the Next Stage of Malaysia’s Development”, World Bank said Malaysia‘s gross national income per capita stood at US$11,200 (RM46,077), based on latest estimates, only US$1,335 short of the present threshold level defining a high-income economy, reported Bernama.
“Malaysia has the ambition to become not just a high-income economy, but one in which growth is sustainable and shared,” said World Bank vice-president for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa as quoted by Bernama.
Kwakwa said Malaysia possess all the necessary attributes to become a high-income economy but navigating the next stage of development would need bold measures and tough reforms.
She explained that the development that worked in the past is no longer adequate to help the country navigate the next stage of development. As such, a different set of policies and institutions is needed to improve the inclusiveness, quality and sustainability of its economic growth in the future.
The report said Malaysia will have to find ways to improve its competitiveness, boost economic growth, strengthen institutions, create high-quality jobs, ensure greater inclusion as well as strengthen its capacity to fund the transition to high-income nation status.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact has slowed the country’s progress towards the threshold.
However, Malaysia has the chance to make bold reforms to sustain future growth as well as ensure the proceeds of growth would benefit all segments of its population.
“The government is committed to continually assess the quality, inclusivity, and sustainability of Malaysia’s growth,” said Tengku Zafrul as quoted by Bernama.
“We have built good foundations but we also recognise the need to invest more in developing high-quality human capital to facilitate greater economic opportunities, next-generation reforms for higher productivity, as well as innovation-led private sector growth and policies.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia should be able to compete at the global frontier as the country looks to join the ranks of the high-income and developed economies of the world.
“The 12th Malaysia Plan will set out our agenda for the next five years,” he said as quoted by Bernama.
“It is the vehicle through which the government aims to steer Malaysia’s recovery from COVID-19, propel our country towards high-income and developed country status and achieve our Shared Prosperity Vision.”