Malaysia well placed to become leading global manufacturing centre by 2020

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has placed Malaysia 23rd in its Global Competitive Index 2017-2018, which makes it the top among the MITI-V (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Vietnam) economies.

The MITI-V economies are expected by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd to become the top manufacturing destination in place of China by 2020 because of the availability of a pool of skilled workers, rising labour productivity and a lower cost base.

Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC) president and US Council on Competitiveness (USCC) Deborah Wince-Smith said based on the WEF index, the USCC sees Malaysia as the leader of the MITI-V.

“The USCC expects to see Malaysia become the leader among the MITI-V nations by 2020 as the country has a good capability in engineering, highly-educated people and commitment from the government to build the right policies framework around innovation to drive towards the goal,” she said at the Global Innovation Summit (GIS) 2017 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The GIS offers 10 principles as guidelines for nations to build sustainable economies. The summit’s eighth instalment took place in Malaysia for the first time yesterday.

Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) joint chairman and Prime Minister’s Science Advisor Prof Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid said the nation is one of the many emerging economies looking to balance laws, progress and environment.

“Malaysia is looking to fine-tune the mix of policies and efforts to equip our society to compete in the global marketplace and meet immense environmental challenges ahead,” he said.

He said the introduction of high technology could have a disruptive impact on society but there are rewards to be reaped.

“How to achieve an innovative, competitive and environmentally sustainable economy is fundamental to our national wellbeing.”

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the country must strive towards economic sustainability with the environment in mind.

“We want to ensure that Malaysia has a competitive edge, is a knowledge- based society that’s prosperous and peaceful. We want to lay a strong foundation to work towards these goals in ways that are sustainable, inclusive and equitable,” she said.

Also present at the event was GFCC and Royal Dutch Shell plc chairman Charles O Holliday Jr, MIGHT and UEM Group Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali and GFCC fellows featured panelists, speakers and moderators.

On WEF’s index, Malaysia is tailed by Thailand in 32nd place, Indonesia the 36th, India 40th and Vietnam 55th.

The International Institute for Management Development World Competitiveness Centre ranks Malaysia as the 24th most competitive country in the world in its World Competitiveness Yearbook 2017.

Deloitte’s Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index 2016 placed Malaysia in the 17th place.