World Economy

Malaysia Passes Per Capita GDP Milestone

Malaysia Passes Per Capita GDP MilestoneMalaysia Passes Per Capita GDP Milestone

Malaysia has passed an important milestone on its way to developed country status.

World Bank data shows that Malaysian GDP per capita–$10,830 in 2014–has exceeded for the first time the average of all nations worldwide, $10,804. By comparison, in 2010 national per capita GDP was US $8,752, some 8% below the then-world average of $9,513, Yahoo reported.

The achievement was noted in a review of Malaysia’s unique Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council, which conducts its 5th annual meeting in Manhattan Sept. 28.

GSIAC, Malaysia’s “kitchen cabinet” of national and international sustainable development advisors, is mandated with helping the country achieve $15,000 per capita GDP–the threshold for developed country status–by 2020.

Chaired by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, GSIAC is a body of distinguished national and international leaders in economics, business, science and technology. The Council is run jointly by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology and the New York Academy of Sciences.

“With the benefit of GSIAC’s valuable insights and advice, Malaysia is firmly on the path to developed country status,” says Zakri Abdul Hamid, science advisor to the prime minister, joint chairman of MIGHT, and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Scientific Advisory Board.

 Goal Sustainably

“There is much to do, however, to reach our $15,000 goal sustainably. From 2015 to 2020 inclusive, Malaysia’s per capita GDP needs to increase by $695 per year on average.”

He notes that such an increase is well within the projections of the 11th Malaysia Plan, released in May, which foresees private consumption and investment driving growth in gross national income per capita of 7.9% per annum.

Zakri emphasized that science, technology and innovation, pursued through national Science into Action initiatives, are integral to the success of 11th Malaysia Plan, which includes six economic objectives: unlocking national potential and productivity, raising the bottom 40% of households towards middle-class positions, enabling industry-led technical and vocational education and training, fostering green growth and competitive cities, and translating innovation into wealth.

 OECD’s Review

Another review of Malaysian innovation policy, prepared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, foresees “immense opportunities to be seized” thanks in part to the country’s proximity to the world’s largest, most populous and dynamic emerging economies, China and India.

This environment offers opportunities to explore and develop several economic niches “capable of generating prosperity in a sustainable manner,” according to advance knowledge of the report.