Malaysia slips to 25th in global com­pet­i­tive­ness

> But coun­try still the most com­pet­i­tive among de­vel­op­ing Asian economies

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been ranked 25th out of 138 economies, down from 18th last year, but re­mains the most com­pet­i­tive econ­omy among de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in Asia.

Ac­cord­ing to the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Re­port (GCR) 2016-2017 un­veiled by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WEF) yes­ter­day, Malaysia’s per­for­mance slipped from 5.23 to 5.16 out of a max­i­mum of score of 7.00.

Malaysia re­mains ahead of economies such as South Korea, Ice­land and China but was over­taken by Bel­gium, Aus­tria, Lux­em­bourg, France, Aus­tralia, Ire­land and Is­rael, said the re­port.

Mean­while, coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries whose rank­ings also slipped in­cluded Ger­many, Ja­pan, Hong Kong, Fin­land, Canada, France, Thai­land, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mustapa Mo­hamed said it was im­por­tant to note that all coun­tries ranked above Malaysia were de­vel­oped and high­in­come economies.

The GCR is an an­nual re­port pub­lished by the WEF based on the Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness In­dex (GCI) that com­bines 114 in­di­ca­tors that in­te­grate both macro and mi­cro eco­nomic as­pects of com­pet­i­tive­ness. Th­ese in­di­ca­tors are grouped into 12 pil­lars com­pris­ing 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.

The GCI is based on sta­tis­ti­cal data from in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised or­gan­i­sa­tions for 30% or 34 in­di­ca­tors. For the rest of the 80 in­di­ca­tors, qual­i­ta­tive as­sess­ments were made based on the WEF’s Ex­ec­u­tive Opin­ion Sur­vey.

Over­all, the GCR ranked Switzer­land as the most com­pet­i­tive econ­omy in the world for the eighth con­sec­u­tive year, ahead of Sin­ga­pore and the United States, fol­lowed by the Nether­lands and Ger­many.

Mustapa said Malaysia is ranked in the top 50 in each of the to­tal 12 pil­lars, de­spite the de­cline in eight of them.

Malaysia per­formed most strongly in Goods Mar­ket Ef­fi­ciency (12th) and Fi­nan­cial Mar­ket De­vel­op­ment (13th) while in the Tech­no­log­i­cal Readi­ness pil­lar, it ad­vanced by four places to 43rd, and Mar­ket Size pil­lar gained two po­si­tions to 24th, he said.

Mustapa said ex­ter­nal fac­tors be­yond the con­trol of pol­i­cy­mak­ers were partly re­spon­si­ble for the de­cline in Malaysia’s rank­ing.

“The global eco­nomic un­cer­tainty, the strong US dol­lar, the fall in com­mod­ity prices and the slow­down in China’s econ­omy are be­yond our am­bit.

“There is also the is­sue of per­cep­tion due to ir­re­spon­si­ble act of cer­tain par­ties which con­tinue to spread un­founded and base­less al­le­ga­tions about do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and the state of our econ­omy,” he said. – Ber­nama

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