World Bank: Malaysia to achieve high-income economy in 2024-2028

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will achieve a high-income economy between 2024 and 2028, but needs to improve its competitiveness, inclusiveness, efficiency and increase women participation in the workforce, according to the World Bank’s flagship report, “Aiming High — Navigating the Next Stage of Malaysia’s Development” yesterday.

In the report launched on Tuesday, it said Malaysia’s GNI per capita is at US$11,200 according to the latest estimates, only US$1,335 short of the current threshold level that defines a high-income economy.

According to the report, the development model that worked in the past is no longer enough to help Malaysia navigate the next stage of its development.

It said the country needs a different set of policies and institutions that will be required to improve the quality, inclusiveness, and sustainability of economic growth in the future.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz the Malaysian Government is committed to continually assess the quality, inclusivity, and sustainability of Malaysia’s growth.

“We have built good foundations but also recognize the need to invest more in developing high-quality human capital, next-generation reforms as well as innovation-led private sector growth and policies,” Zafrul said.

“Even before Covid-19, it was clear that reforms were needed to raise not only the rate of economic growth but the quality and sustainability of growth, too.

“As we look to join the ranks of the world’s high-income and developed economies, Malaysia needs to be able to compete at the global frontier,” said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed

“The 12th Malaysia Plan will set out our agenda for the next five years - it is the vehicle through which the Government aims to steer Malaysia’s recovery from COVID -19 and propel our country towards high-income and developed country status and to the achievement of our Shared Prosperity Vision,” he added.

Representing the World Bank Group, Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region Victoria Kwakwa said: “Malaysia has the ambition to become not just a high-income economy, but one in which growth is sustainable and shared.

“A core feature of this report is to benchmark Malaysia against not just regional peers in ASEAN; but also against aspirational peers – the OECD countries with advanced economies-– that Malaysia seeks to join; and, importantly, against the 19 other countries that have successfully transitioned from middle- to high-income status during the past 30 years,” she said.

“Malaysia has all the necessary attributes to successfully make this leap. But navigating the next stage of development will require bold measures and tough reforms.”

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