KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak is committed to continue propelling Malaysia to a higher level of competitiveness, guided by the New Economic Model (NEM) announced in 2010. He said he committed to make Malaysia more competitive and he have been clear on this stand with his domestic policies. He said this in his posting on the website www.najibrazak.com on Friday night.
“I have always maintained that our New Economic Model’s aim is to catapult Malaysia into a more competitive, productive and investor-friendly destination. And as Prime Minister, my policies both domestic and abroad, aim to deliver this and ensure that we put the people’s needs first,” he said.
Najib, who has just returned home after a three-day official visit to Germany since Monday, said there were many positives to be taken from the recently released annual World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (GCR). Last Wednesday, Malaysia has been ranked a highly commendable 25th out of 138 economies, however, it was down from 18th last year.
“In this increasingly competitive world, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We must remain committed in dissecting the causes and make immediate improvements. We must admit that the drop in overall rankings was also due to external and domestic factors, some of which are beyond the ambit of the government,” Najib stressed.
In order to remain competitive, he pointed out that Malaysia must strive to continuously improve the accessibility to loans and produce talent. With regards to education, he said the recently launched blueprints for education and higher education have made it clear that science, technology, engineering and mathematics must be integrated with the humanities, social sciences and entrepreneurship in an interdisciplinary manner.
Meanwhile, Najib was satisfied that Malaysia has again been recognised as the most competitive among other emerging markets in Asia. He said they are still ahead of economic giants in the likes of South Korea, Iceland and China and this is even more remarkable in a tumultuous global economic climate. Najib said the government’s policies were working properly in line with the aims to reach a high income status by 2020 and attract as well as retain investors.
“We are now 4th in the world, up from an already praiseworthy 5th – in protecting our investors here in Malaysia. Malaysia is also held in high regard among investors for ease of doing business and we have managed to uphold our very enviable 6th ranking. Our policies also encourage and nurture start-ups. Yesterday, four days is all it takes to start a business in Malaysia – advancing our ranking to 15th from 24th previously,” he said.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said Malaysia’s 8th ranking in efficient government spending reflects the success in cutting budget deficit since he took office as Prime Minister. He said the government’s initiative in efficient spending has also managed to consistently reduce the fiscal deficit and Malaysia’s GCR ranking of 69th in the world, up from 85th was an acknowledgement of that fact.
For Malaysia to become even more competitive, it is imperative for the government to provide an attractive environment for talent, as well as one which enables them to thrive. He said Malaysia’s efforts to offer an environment which nurtures innovation and creativity has proven to be fruitful. He said they are 8th and 11th respectively in their ability to retain and attract talen. — Bernama