PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has moved up two spots in terms of global competitiveness.
According to data from the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, Malaysia is now in 23rd place out of 137 countries, up two ranks from 25th place in the previous year's report.
The report also said that Malaysia was the region's top emerging economy, ahead of countries such as China, which was ranked 27th.
Malaysia took second spot among nine Asean countries with Thailand ranked at 32, Indonesia (36), Brunei Darussalam (46), Vietnam (55), Philippines (56), Cambodia (94) and Laos (98).
The top three most competitive countries in the world went to Switzerland, the United States and Singapore.
However, Singapore fell behind the United States and was ranked third globally, but the report said the country remained the most competitive economy in the region.
The report also cited Malaysia's strengths, which was investor protection, burden of government regulation and efficiency of government spending, ranked third, fifth and 15th, respectively.
Malaysia's top three problematic factors in doing business were access to financing, foreign currency regulations and inefficient government bureaucracy, said the report.
The annual report measures national competitiveness, which is defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity.
The study used 70% survey data from the United Nations and 30% data from 137 countries, and tracks the performance of 137 countries on 12 pillars of competitiveness via the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).
The 12 pillars considered are institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiently, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.