Thursday, September 04, 2014

Rising Up The World Rankings

DESPITE the positive trend in Malaysia’s performance, the International Trade and Industry Ministry and its agency, the Malaysia Productivity Corporation, will continue their leading roles in coordinating efforts to further enhance the country’s competitiveness, which now ranks among the top 20 most competitive economies.
Enhancing competitiveness requires concerted efforts and commitment from both the public and private sectors, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
“The government will continue to ensure the successful implementation of the national transformation policy, which encompasses the economic and government transformation programmes. This commitment does not only serve to facilitate the ease of doing business, but also serves to encourage the private sector to step up efforts to invest in technology and pursue innovation continuously,” he said in a statement on the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 (GCR) by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The report, which was released yesterday, ranked Malaysia 20th out of 144 economies ahead of developed economies such as Austria (21st), Australia (22nd), France (23rd), Ireland (25th) and South Korea (26th). In the previous year, Malaysia was in the 24th position out of 148 countries.
Among Asia-Pacific countries, Malaysia improved to the sixth position, out of 28 countries, from seventh last year, after Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and New Zealand.
Malaysia is ahead of Australia (seventh), Korea (eighth), China (ninth) and India (16th).
“Malaysia remains the highest ranked among developing Asian economies and is ranked the second most competitive economy among the 24 countries that the WEF categorises in the transition stage from an efficiency-driven to innovation stage of development,” said Mustapa.
The GCR is published annually by WEF based on the Global Competitiveness Index that integrates both macroeconomic and microeconomic aspects of competitiveness.
It uses 70 per cent perception data obtained through the Executive Opinion Survey from high-level private sector executives and 30 per cent statistical data.
The report comprises 114 criteria, which are organised into 12 pillars of competitiveness, namely institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation.
Mustapa said WEF highlighted that Malaysia’s biggest improvement was in the institutions pillar, advancing by nine positions from 29th to 20th.
“This is evident from the positive responses of the business sector as reflected in the significantly improved perception-based indicators related to safety and security as well as corruption, thus contributing to the enhanced performance of the institutions pillar.
“Elsewhere, Malaysia ranks an outstanding fourth in the financial market development pillar, reflecting its efforts to position itself as the leading centre of global Islamic finance,” he said.
Malaysia stood out as one of the very few countries that had been relatively successful at tackling the issues of corruption and red tape as part of its government and economic transformation programmes.
Malaysia ranked fourth for the ease of government regulation and a satisfactory 26th in the ethics and corruption component of the index.
It ranked 11th for the quality of its transport infrastructure, reflecting a marked improvement in infrastructure and connectivity.
The Malaysian private sector was highly sophisticated, ranking 15th.
WEF also highlighted that amid the largely positive assessment, Malaysia has much to improve in areas of female participation in the workforce (119th), government budget balance (102nd), international Internet bandwidth (81st) and technological readiness (60th).
The top 10 continued to be dominated by advanced western economies and several Asian tigers.
For the sixth consecutive year, Switzerland is in the lead, followed by Singapore, the United States, Finland, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

--Btimes

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