PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been ranked second out of nine Asean countries for its efficiency in government spending, according to data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018.
The report, which was released on Wednesday, stated that Singapore was placed second globally out of 137 countries, with first place going to the United Arab Emirates for efficiency in government spending.
Malaysia, in 15th place, faired better than other European and Asian countries such as Finland (16), Norway (18), China (19), Iceland (23), Sweden (26), and Japan (29).
In the Asean region, Brunei Darussalam was placed 23rd in the world followed closely by Indonesia in 25th place.
Meanwhile, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Cambodia were ranked 30, 51, 69, 88, and 89 respectively.
Other than the efficiency in government spending, the report also cited under its institution pillar that Malaysia was placed third in the world for its strength in investor protection and was placed fifth in its burden of government regulations.
In terms of overall global competitiveness, Malaysia improved two spots to be ranked 23rd in the world from its 25th position last year.
The report also said that the nation was the region's top emerging economy, ahead of countries such as South Korea and China, which was ranked 26th and 27th respectively.
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.