Malaysia is a multicultural South-east Asian democracy, located on the Malay Peninsula and Borneo. Endowed with prodigious natural resources, including rubber, palm oil and oil and gas, Malaysia has expanded into manufacturing, services and tourism, and is seeking to move further up the value chain in industrial production.

An ambitious government-led economic transformation programme seeks to triple gross national income and make the country part of the developed world by 2020. The private sector is expected to play a key role in providing financing and support for Malaysia’s aspirations.

Malaysia’s economy rebounded from contraction during the global crisis in 2009 to grow 7.2% in 2010, and it is expected to expand by 5% in 2011. The top performer was the service sector, which has grown steadily in recent years. Services have led Malaysia’s transformation from a raw materials exporter to a service and manufacturing centre. Concerns about its pace of growth – relatively slow compared with its neighbours – have lent impetus to the New Economic Model (NEM), announced in March 2010.

That model aims to boost gross national income per capita from $7558 in 2010 to $17,700 by 2020. The NEM’s implementation is specified by the Economic Transformation Programme, which details economic and and social policy measures needed to effect necessary growth. Within the programme, 87 entry point projects have already been announced, and 65 were under way as of July 2011, mainly in trade, oil, energy, communications and IT.

One necessary aspect of this transformation will be the opening up of the economy where the government currently controls or has a stake in many major companies. The private sector will therefore be a key part of the country’s growth plans.

This section contains interviews with Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department; Idris Jala, CEO of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU); Karel De Gucht, EU Trade Commissioner; and Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman, President and Group Chief Executive of Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

covermalaysiaMalaysia 2011 has just been published by Oxford Business Group. You can read the report in our online reader by clicking on this link: The Report: Malaysia 2011

About the author

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global publishing and consultancy company which produces original economic and business intelligence on markets in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean.

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