Competitive ranking slips

The drop from the 27th position in 2023 was largely due to the decline in business and government efficiency.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s 34th position in the 2024 World Competitiveness Ranking marks its poorest performance in years, as neighbouring Singapore regained its first rank while Thailand and Indonesia overtook Malaysia.

The drop from the 27th position in 2023 was largely due to the decline in business and government efficiency.

Thailand was ranked 25th in 2024, while Indonesia ranked 27th.

The ranking by Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) comprises four “factors”, namely, business efficiency, government efficiency, economic performance and infrastructure.

There were 67 countries in the 2024 World Competitiveness Ranking.

Malaysia’s worst performance was in the factor of business efficiency, where it ranked 40th as compared to 32nd in 2023, with a score of 41.5.

In particular, within the sub-factor of productivity and efficiency, Malaysia fell 17 spots to the 53rd rank, while the sub-factor of management practices declined 11 places to 42nd position.

Notably, Malaysia suffered a decline in all five sub-factors within business and government efficiency.

In the factor of government efficiency, the sub-factors of business legislation fell five places to the 50th rank, societal framework fell three places to 42nd and public finance dropped two spots to 35th.

Malaysia scored 50.4 in the government efficiency factor, with a rank of 33rd as compared to 29th in 2023.

Meanwhile, in the factor of infrastructure, the country retained its 35th rank amid a score of 49.7.

In the factor of economic performance, a score of 62.5 placed Malaysia at the eighth rank, only a spot lower than 2023.

However, despite the strong showing, the sub-factor of domestic economy fell by 19 spots to the 35th position.

Interestingly, the sub-factors of international investment and employment rose by one and three spots to the 28th and 18th ranks, respectively.

The report listed five challenges for Malaysia, namely increasing investment in research and development to boost business resilience, optimising the labour market to maximise workforce productivity, updating policies and regulations to improve global competitiveness, leveraging advanced technologies to accelerate productivity growth, and mitigating increasing costs through strategic productivity enhancements.

Malaysia’s data was provided by the Malaysia Productivity Corp.

The top five positions in the 2024 World Competitiveness Ranking were grabbed by Singapore, followed by Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland and Hong Kong.

“Singapore’s performance marks a return to form; last occupying first place in 2020, it then fell to fifth, third, and finally fourth in the following years, while Denmark and Switzerland performed a tussle for power over the top spot.

“The data shows a particularly robust performance for the island nation across the areas of government efficiency (the extent to which government policies are conducive to competitiveness) and business efficiency (how well enterprises are performing in an innovative, profitable, and responsible manner),” stated IMD in a statement.

IMD World Competitiveness Center director Arturo Bris said the ranking provides a timely performance indicator.

“It serves as a benchmark for these countries to measure their progress and identify areas for improvement, offering a clear path towards their economic development but also supporting global goals such as the sustainable development goals.”

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