KUALA LUMPUR: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report states that Malaysia can become a high-income nation within two years, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Based on current assessment, Malaysia will be able to achieve a high-income economy by 2021 or 2022," he said.
He said that IMF's latest World Economic Outlook 2019 report revealed a positive outlook for Malaysia and the per capita income was expected to increase.
Dr Mahathir also said that the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 has come just in time, as global trade wars rage.
He said that in addition to a competitive and challenging global economic situation, Malaysia is currently facing much uncertainty with the ongoing trade war.
"For this reason, the national policy is needed and introduced at the right time, he said at the policy's launch ceremony here on Thursday (July 11).
The policy, the first comprehensive and specific to entrepreneurship in the country, is a long-term strategy that lays out the direction of entrepreneurship for the country.
It draws out the objectives, targets, strategies and entrepreneurship development ecosystems across industries and involves every level of entrepreneurs and society.
Dr Mahathir said this policy would be a blueprint for Malaysia to ensure that its entrepreneurial objectives are achieved.
He added that it was important to put entrepreneurship as a key strategy for the development of the country's economy.
Dr Mahathir also noted that Malaysia still managed to draw foreign investments.
For the first quarter of this year, foreign direct investments touched RM21.7bil – compared with RM11.2bil for the same period last year.
Dr Mahathir also said that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are important assets of the government, for they not only enhance the economic level of the people but also serve as a strategic initiative to move the country out of the middle-income trap.
As such, under the 11th Malaysia Plan, entrepreneurship had been identified as one of the main fields targeted for Vision 2020, he said.