Do you know what is Malaysia ranking in global competitiveness?

Malaysia ranks 25th in global competitiveness

By Rupa Damodaran

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia slipped by four notches to the 25th position in the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013.

The report, which was released by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), however, marked Malaysia as being within the top 20 per cent bandwidth of the 144 competitive countries in the world. It also upgraded Malaysia’s stage of development as transition towards innovation-driven from efficiency-driven previously. “This means that Malaysia has to be increasingly focused on techno-logy and innovation to further enhance its competitiveness,” said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed in a statement.

South Korea, Luxembourg, the UAE and New Zealand overtook Malaysia this time round although Malaysia’s scores slipped marginally compared to the previous report. Malaysia has also been upgraded to the transition stage of development as its GDP per capita has increased to US$9,700 (RM30,167) from US$8,423.

In WEF’s assessment, the most notable advantages are found in Malaysia’s efficient and competitive market for goods and services and its remarkably supportive financial sector, as well as its business-friendly institutional framework. “In a region where many economies suffer for lack of transparency and the presence of red tape, Malaysia stands out as particularly successful at tackling these issues,” it said, adding that much remains to be done to put the country on a more solid growth path. The assessment is made through 12 pillars of competitiveness which cover basic requirements, innovation and sophistication factors and efficiency enhancers.

The WEF described Malaysia’s low level of technological readiness as surprising, given its achievements in other areas of innovation and business sophistication and the country’s focus on promoting the use of ICT.

“Lack of progress in this area will significantly undermine Malaysia’s efforts to become a knowledge-based economy by the end of the decade,” it warned. Meanwhile, Malaysia Productivity Corp director general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain also expressed concern over the slip in the technological readiness readings from 40 in 2010 to 51 in the latest reading. He said the readings could also be a reflection of the quality of data sourced by the ranking agency. Lee Saw Hoon, who is MPC’s senior director in charge of global competitiveness, said MPC has initiated discussions with international data sources to ensure “quality” and a comprehensive picture is provided.

She said a discrepancy was, for instance, seen in the comparative readings in education enrolment between Malaysia and Singapore. This could be due to the different definitions used by international organisations. MPC is one of the partner institutes of WEF. Commenting on the latest ranking, Mustapa said the government would analyse all the 111 indica-tors in the report to identify areas for improvement towards an innovation-driven, high-income economy.

The top 10 countries are Switzerland, Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, the US, the UK, Hong Kong and Japan. One-third of the top 30 countries experienced a slip in their overall competitiveness performance.

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