Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, the Economic Affairs Minister of Malaysia, has stated that the Malaysian government is dedicated to improving the economy and growing out of the middle income category. The government will strive to make Malaysia a high-income economy.
While attending the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2018, Azmin gave a speech in which he said that Malaysia is trapped in the middle-income category. It has been unable to transform into a high income country so far.
As of 2017, GDP per capita has decreased to 9,944 from the high in 2014 of 11,183. The GDP per capita is measured in nominal US dollars here.
Azmin also stated that a different economic logic was necessary for Malaysia to escape the middle-income category.
He went on to say that a focused move to new industries was required first. Specifically, Malaysia must start adapting to the global landscape in technology. Malaysia needs to become an expert in the applications of the progress being made in tech and innovation. That will lead to an improvement in Malaysia’s economic productivity.
The second step will be diversifying the economy. This can be done through exports in manufacturing, agriculture or services. After all, exporting means that the services or goods produced needs to be globally competitive.
Azmin noted that Nissan, Honda, and Toyota had grown because the Japanese government had decided to bring about a diversification of their economy. They built upon their rapidly improving electronics industry.