After a decade of robust growth, Malaysia presently stands as one of the dynamic economies of ASEAN, aspiring to run with the pack of 'Asian-tigers' in its 30-year plan called Vision 2020. It is the only developing country to have such a far-sighted vision. However, its prodigious growth has not been without any side-effects or its share of problems and challenges, ranging from infrastructural bottlenecks to supply constraints. This research report gives an insight into these side-effects and the government's policy responses to them, in its effort to achieve sustainable development and continue to maintain a conducive investment climate.
After thirty six years of growth since independence, the Malaysian economy remains open and trade-oriented. As an open and export-oriented economy, Malaysia is exposed to the full rigours of market forces and its businesses are in direct competition with international companies. There are however, several shortfalls in Malaysian industry that could erode Malaysia’s international competitiveness. Among them are a narrow manufacturing base with very little value added, over-dependence on imported technology, low priority to R&D, lack of indigenous R&D capability, lack of creativity and innovation in transforming new products for the marketplace and little development of linkages between small and medium scale industries and multinational companies. As a result of these shortfalls, resource-rich Malaysia has been a low-technology and labour-intensive producer. This research report looks at these shortfalls and the development strategies implemented by the government for the 1990s, to steer the nation towards fully developed nation status by 2020.
This report also highlights the major business and investment opportunities in the Malaysian economy, including transport, power, telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, infrastructure-related, and the services sector. Local investors are encouraged to take advantage of these investment opportunities, and the government is giving support and encouragement to the private sector to participate actively in the nation's growth.
Many of the strategies, aimed conducive investment climate industries, at for are developing a more value added and already technology-driven industries, are already gaining momentum.
Given the government's ability to plan ahead and to successfully implement its plans, as reflected in Malaysia’ s performance in the last decade, this report concludes that Vision 2020 is within Malaysia's reach. In preparing this report, an intensive review of current literature, periodicals, newspapers, annual reports and books was undertaken.