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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        20  May 2011

Competitiveness is a major Malaysian issue

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Malaysia's competitive performance has been affected by perception-based factors relating to business and government efficiency.

Business efficiency was ranked 14th compared with fourth last year while government efficiency was at 17th position from ninth position.

In a media statement by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad, he said among the major shifts in perception towards both these factors which affected their performance included criteria such as efficiency of small and medium enterprises, brain drain, cost competitiveness, availability of skilled labour, financial risk factor, access to business credit and implementation of government decisions.

“It should be highlighted that the ranking for economic performance, which gives a macro economic evaluation of the domestic economy and is based on real/hard data, improved to seventh position this year ahead of Taiwan, Sweden, Canada, Australia, the UK and Switzerland. Malaysia has come a long way since 2007 where we were ranked 12th position in economic performance,” said Mustapa.

His statement was in response to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011 Report issued by the Switzerland-based Institute for Management Development.

In the report, Malaysia ranked 16th from 10th last year, among 59 economies.

Mustapa said last year, Malaysia had displayed a strong performance in its economic fundamentals where total trade rose by 18.3% and gross domestic product grew at 7.2%.

He noted foreign direct investments had increased since 2009 from US$1.4bil to US$9bil in 2010 while Malaysia's unemployment rate at 3.4 percent was among the lowest in the 59 economies.

“Moving forward, I want to stress that the Government is committed to successfully implementing the realisation of the NEM, GTP and ETP,” he said.

“Enhancing national competitiveness remains a top priority.”

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