Malaysia improves in global competitiveness

Annual report on economic competitiveness by World Economic Forum ranks Malaysia at 23, up from 25 last year.

wef-malaysiaPETALING JAYA: Malaysia has improved slightly in the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2017-2018, which was released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) yesterday.

The Geneva-based organisation, which assesses the competitiveness landscape of 140 economies, ranked Malaysia at 23. Last year’s report (2016-2017) placed Malaysia in the 25th spot.

Considered the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide, the WEF’s GCR uses 12 pillars of competitiveness to derive the status of a country pertaining to factors which drives its productivity and prosperity.

In terms of score, Malaysia’s performance registered an increase from 5.16 to 5.17 out of a maximum of seven.

Malaysia’s ranking in the GCR had registered six years of improvement until a massive drop last year, when the nation dropped seven spots from number 18 in 2015 to 25 in 2016.

According to the GCR, this year Malaysia had been Asia’s top emerging economy.

Among other Asian countries, South Korea continued to be the lowest-ranked among the region’s advanced economies, ranking 26.

Meanwhile, Singapore dropped one spot from its previous number two ranking, which it had held for the previous three years.

The 12 pillars of competitiveness used for tabulating the ranking of a country’s economy are 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.

In these areas, the report takes statistical data from internationally recognised organisations based on 34 indicators, and this contributes to 30% of the score.

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The balance of 70%, or 84 indicators, is derived from qualitative assessments that are taken from the WEF’s Executive Opinion Survey.

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Bahagian pelancongan nusantara merupakan salah satu seksyen yang utama dalam ekonomi negara. Sehingga saat ini, sektor pelancongan merupakan sektor kelima terbesar negara selepas sektor perkhidmatan kewangan, kelapa sawit, borong dan runcit, gas dan tenaga, dan petroleum dengan memberikan sebanyak RM36.9 bilion kepada Keluaran Negara Kasar (KNK).

Namun begitu pada peringkat awal selepas pasca kemerdekaan negara, kerajaan tidak memberi penekanan terhadap sektor pelancongan. Kerajaan pada ketika itu lebih memberi tumpuan kepada pembangunan infrastruktur negara dan melawan ancaman communism. Selain itu, faktor ancaman dari luar seperti konfrantasi dengan Indonesia turut menjejaskan tujuan kerajaan pada ketika itu. Ia serta merta melambatkan pekembangan sektor pelancongan di Malaysia.

Pada era masa 1960, sektor pelancongan masih belum mewujudkan peranan yang penting terhadap perkembangan ekonomi negara. Kerajaan pada masa itu memberi tumpuan kepada sektor hasil bumi seperti bijih timah dan getah. Sektor hasil bumi tersebut telah menyumbang sebanyak 45% kepada keluaran Negara kasar (KNK) pada tahun 1970.