COVER ILLUSTRATION OF MENARA TM (TM TOWER): Carmelo Aunión
CONTENTS 5 ENTERPRISE A one-stop shop provides SMEs with integrated development programmes
AGRICULTURE Palm oil is just one of many lucrative and sustainable crops in this vital sector
10 KNOWLEDGE Investing in R&D in academia and industry is key for growth
14 TELECOMS A new high-speed broadband service opens up a digital hub
15 TOURISM Diversity and a truly Asian mix are attracting more visitors
MALAYSIA PROJECT TEAM
Project Director: Elizabeth-Anne Thomas
Editorial Director: Robert Romaniuk
Project Coordinator: Nadine Pugsley
This supplement was produced for The Independent by World Report International Ltd, who are solely responsible for the content. World Report International Ltd is not connected or associated with any company registered in the United Kingdom bearing the same or similar name.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: World Report International Ltd, 2 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London SW7 3DQ Tel: +44 20 76296213
23 APRIL 2010
This report can also be read online: www.worldreport-ind.com
2 World Report
Transformation through innovation
Malaysia’s shift toward a high-income economy with sustainable, inclusive growth will be achieved by boosting the nation’s innovative and creative industries
OUT OF CRISIS comes opportunity. As it emerges from the global recession in com- paratively resilient shape, Malaysia is making a major push in meeting its long- held objective to move up the economic val- ue chain. No longer a cheap labour coun- try, efforts are being made to transform it into a high-income country with sus- tainable and inclusive growth.
On March 30 at Invest Malaysia 2010, held in Kuala Lumpur under the theme ‘Powering Global Excellence’, Prime Min- ister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak announced that a new economic model (NEM) would form the government’s long- term policy agenda. It will be integrated into the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015) and be further delivered through the 11th Malaysia Plan.
The NEM is a vital part of the federa- tion establishing a competitive economy, strategically positioned for both regional and global business, as well as being en- vironmentally sustainable and providing a quality of life that is encompassing and all- inclusive. Mr Razak said that Malaysia should make a quantum leap from the cur- rent $7,000 (£4,600) per capita annual income to $15,000 (£6,600) in ten years.
The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur were designed to express Malaysia’s richness in culture and its extraordinary vision for the future, as well as its aspirations and ambition
In his speech, the Prime Minister reflected on the country’s economic and so- cial aspirations, saying, “Creating a high income na- tion will mean higher wages throughout the economy as growth is derived not only from capital, but from greater productivity through the use of skills and innovation, improved coordination, stronger branding and com- pliance with international standards and intellectual property rights. “In a knowledge economy, investment in new technology, multi skills, innovation and creativity, and increased competency are the drivers of public and private-sec- tor performance. We expect investment and competition for the best talent through paying higher wages. Even wages for blue- ‘We would like to see resources in building up the quality of our soft infrastructure, such as R&D and academia’ collar workers will be based on them acquiring higher competencies, with their per- formance more readily bench- marked against internation- al competitors. With more skills, comes greater re- sponsibility, and better, high- er paying jobs.” Amidst the international fi- nancial turmoil and rapid deterioration in global economic conditions, the Malaysian economy still registered a 4.6 per cent growth rate in 2008. The government in- troduced two stimulus packages, worth RM67 billion (£13.6 billion), to buoy its economy. According to the Ministry of Fi- nace, the economy has begun to recover as evidenced by 4Q 2009 GDP of 4.5 per cent, registering GDP growth for the en- tire year of 2009 at -1.7 per cent. This is
higher than its earlier estimate of -3.0 per cent. For 2010, while the official forecast remains at 3.0 per cent, meeting a soft target of 6.0 per cent is within reach.
Minister of Finance II, Dato’ Seri Ha- ji Ahmad Husni bin Mohamad Hanadzlah, says, “As we plan to become a high-income economy by the year 2020 and we trans- form our economy into one that is based on knowledge, creativity and innovation, education will remain our top priority.
“Nevertheless, we acknowledge that much of our resources have been spent on hard infrastructure, i.e. in the physical construction of universities and other in- stitutions of learning.
“Moving forward, we would like to see resources in building up the quality of our soft infrastructure, such as research and development activities, training of mem-
bers of the academia etc.”