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Malaysia rises to 25th place in World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021

KUALA LUMPUR (June 30): The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021 has ranked Malaysia’s global competitiveness at the 25th place from out of 64 economies, an improvement from the 27th position in 2020.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking, Malaysia held the second position among 190 economies in dealing with construction permits.

“Nevertheless, while this shows that reform initiatives are working, there is still more to be done to ensure that our regulations are agile enough to respond to changes,” he said in his speech during the virtual official launch of “Productivity Report 2021 — Boosting Productivity: Reset, Reform, Rebound”.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman said the Productivity Report 2021 takes a different approach this year, focusing directly on the issues and challenges which impede productivity growth against the worst health and economic crisis and spotlighting the recommended solutions to manage these barriers.

“In addressing the pronounced challenges to productivity and in the effort to boost its growth, this year’s theme for the report summarises the journey — reset and reform — which eventually leads to a productivity rebound.

“The recommendations presented in the report align with the government agenda through its various economic stimulus packages and recovery plans. Aptly implemented, the solutions are expected to escalate productivity growth, and subsequently enhance business revival and recovery,” he said in his welcoming speech.

Within the business environment, Abdul Latif said, regulations play an important role to enhance the ease of doing business.

“Managing the regulatory concerns from the industry, especially from businesses affected by the pandemic, is more urgent now to facilitate their recovery.

“Regulatory reform is a must to reduce the unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses and formulate policies which are more conducive to business efficiency. PEMUDAH or the Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business, working with MPC as the secretariat, has been steadfast in regulatory reforms,” he said.

Meanwhile, in his message in the report, Mohamed Azmin said the outlook is positive for Malaysia, underpinned by the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which is progressing well to reach as many citizens as possible and as quickly as possible.

“The government has also launched and implemented several stimulus packages to ease the burden of the business community and the rakyat in general. Incentives and programmes are implemented to address issues of employment, loss of revenue and the business environment.

“Great attention will continue to be given to digitalisation and technology adoption as tools to accelerate the economic recovery. With these synergistic efforts in place, there is certainly an air of optimism for 2021 to be an inflection point for both holistic health and economic recovery,” he said.

The minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused an unprecedented health and economic crisis, affecting the lives and livelihoods of the people, resulting in a huge decline in productivity growth by 5.5% last year due to the jarring disruptions.

“We have striven to overcome the various obstacles by setting in motion opportunities that have changed the trajectory of our lives for the better,” he said.

According to Mohamed Azmin, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), in its first-quarter performance report published in May 2021, forecast that Malaysia’s economy remains on track to achieve the projected growth of 6%-7.5% in 2021.

This, he said, denotes a rebound in labour and capital productivity, underpinned by a broad-based economic recovery across most sectors.

“While 2020 saw the execution of brave but necessary measures to flatten the curve of infections, the government, armed with valuable virological data, implemented more prudent measures in 2021 to curb the virus from spreading exponentially, pivoted on the overarching objective to protect the lives of the rakyat and simultaneously ensure the revival of the country’s economic growth,” he added.

Source: The Edge Markets

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