Malaysia’s position in IMD competitiveness ranking 2025 set to improve, says Zafrul

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is confident that Malaysia’s position in the IMD’s World Competitiveness Ranking 2025 will improve compared to this year, driven by the increase in high-technology product exports.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the reduction in the country’s high-technology exports had influenced Malaysia’s lower positioning in the IMD list last year, and this was a short-term situation that is expected to improve this year.

The minister said this is following the many new investments from electrical and electronics companies in Malaysia as well as those from multinational corporations.

"All of these (investments) will begin to have an effect in the next 12 to 18 months, and they will improve our position,” he said in a post on social media.

High-technology exports are products with extensive research and development components, such as those in the aerospace, computer, pharmaceutical, scientific instruments, chemical, and electrical machinery sectors.

Tengku Zaful said Malaysia’s lower position in the IMD competitiveness ranking resulted from a fall in electronic communications exports due to lower global demand and increased global competition for electronic communications products last year.

"For example, China’s high-technology exports in the first 10 months of 2023 fell 11.4 per cent year-on-year to US$728.2bil, while South Korea’s (high-technology exports) plummeted 28 per cent to US$110bil, and Japan was 10 per cent lower to US$76.9bil,” he said. (US$1 = RM4.71)

However, Tengku Zafrul said the global sales of semiconductors are projected to increase 16 per cent in 2024 and 12.5 per cent in 2025, benefiting Malaysia as the world’s sixth largest semiconductor exporter.

"When demand for semiconductors increases, it is automatic for a country’s high-technology exports to increase too,” he explained.

Tengku Zafrul added that stable economic growth, low unemployment and an inflation rate that remains under control will improve Malaysia’s position in the near future. - Bernama

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