Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Malaysia Ranked 26th In WEF Global Competitiveness Index.

Malaysia is placed 26th in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) rankings for 2006-2007.

In a statement here Tuesday, the Geneva-based WEF said Malaysia exhibited one of the most efficient economies in the region.

"It has flexible labour markets, relatively undistorted goods markets and public institutions that in many areas (e.g. rule of law, the legal system) are already operating at the level of the top performing European Union members that joined in 2004.

"A well-developed infrastructure and relatively sound regulatory environment, coupled with sophisticated production methods and fairly extensive adoption of new technologies, should contribute to higher levels of growth and continued rapid development," it said.

WEF said the country's overall competitiveness score would be improved if the government was more successful in reducing the public sector deficit. "Large deficits for several years -- more than 3.5 percent of gross domestic product this year have become a semi-permanent feature of the macroeconomic landscape," it said.

WEF said improving the health of the workforce and access to education would also do much to enhance the country's competitiveness. "However, there is no question the country has come a long way and has excellent prospects," said Augusto Lopez-Claros, chief economist and head of the WEF's Global Competitiveness Network.

Meanwhile, Switzerland, Finland and Sweden are the world's most competitive economies according to the report. Denmark, Singapore, US, Japan, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK completed the top 10 list. The US recorded a pronounced drop, falling from first to sixth.

The rankings are drawn, among others, from the Executive Opinion Survey, of which over 11,000 business leaders were polled in 125 countries.


**** At a time when no news is good news, Pak Lah must be extremely glad that the nation and the economy have been given the thumbs up and we only just slid one position lower unlike the US. Moreover we did far better than the two giants of Asia, China and India. Hopefully this piece of welcome praise will give him the impetus to push ahead with reforms that are much needed to keep up with the other fast-paced growers. This is the opportune time to review outdated practices and firmly put in place forward looking, pragmatic and just policies that will benefit the entire nation and not merely half the population. Please remember that Singapore has maintained its very high 5th place ranking.

Links - GCI ranking chart.


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