Malaysia retained its position among the top 25 competitive nations, coming in 24th out of 63 countries in the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017 (WCY) published by the Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD). Even though Malaysia dropped from 19th spot out of 61 countries last year, it improved its score slightly to 83.53 from 83.05 last year.
Hong Kong is in first place with a score of 100, followed by Switzerland (99.66), Singapore (99.49), USA (98.66) and the Netherlands (96.55).
The report, which was released today, said Malaysia’s competitiveness was adversely affected by the dynamic and challenging external environment in 2016 such as the uncertainties surrounding the monetary policy of the US, sharp movements in global commodity prices and the uncertain trajectory of global growth. “Nevertheless, Malaysia’s continued economic and financial resilience have provided the support to withstand external shocks and prevents Malaysia from experiencing a more significant decline in performance.”
Malaysia slipped one notch to second position among 32 countries with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita less than US$20,000. He said Malaysia was overtaken by China which recorded a good progress in its economy. In the category of population greater than 20 million, he said Malaysia was ranked eight among 20 countries (2016: seventh).
In the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia was placed sixth in 2017 compared with seventh last year, ahead of Japan which finished eight, Thailand (ninth), and South Korea (10th); and remained second in the ASEAN region after Singapore.
The WCY provides the most objective assessment of countries’ competitiveness based on four factors – economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.