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Malaysia’s Competitive Edge Blunted, Falls Behind Indonesia And Thailand For The First Time

Malaysia’s Competitive Edge Blunted, Falls Behind Indonesia And Thailand For The First Time

Dropping seven places to 34th out of 67 countries, Malaysia now grapples with the harsh reality of its diminishing competitiveness as it falls behind regional neighbours Indonesia and Thailand for the first time.

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In a world where nations vie for economic supremacy, Malaysia grapples with a bitter pill to swallow.

The once-promising Southeast Asian nation has suffered a disheartening blow, tumbling seven places to rank 34th out of 67 countries in the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking.

The report, a damning indictment of Malaysia’s faltering competitiveness, reveals a nation struggling to keep pace with its regional rivals.

In a startling turn of events, Malaysia has, for the first time, been outranked by both Indonesia and Thailand, plummeting four places to a dismal 10th out of 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

As Malaysia’s economic fortunes wane, Singapore has emerged as a beacon of hope, reclaiming its crown as the world’s most competitive economy.

The city-state’s meteoric rise, climbing four places from the previous year and topping the index for the first time since 2020, further widening the gulf between the two nations.

Infrastructure Steady Amidst Decline in Key Sectors

Malaysia’s decline is a tale of woe, with nearly all factors, from economic performance to government and business efficiency, bearing the brunt of the nation’s dwindling competitiveness.

The only silver lining, a glimmer of hope amidst the gloom, is the country’s steadfast position in infrastructure.

READ MORE: Malaysia’s Plan To Privatise MAHB Gains Momentum, Reports CNA

Yet, the staggering drops in key sub-factors overshadow even this small victory.

Malaysia’s domestic economy, once a source of pride, has plummeted 19 spots to a dismal 35th, while productivity and efficiency have taken a nosedive, plunging 17 spots to a woeful 53rd.

Bold Action Needed to Reclaim Economic Glory

The report, a clarion call for action, lays bare the challenges that lie ahead for Malaysia.

From boosting investment in research and development to optimizing the labour market and updating policies and regulations, the path to regaining its competitive edge is fraught with obstacles.

The stakes could not be higher, for Malaysia’s future hangs in the balance in a world where nations rise and fall on the strength of their economic might.

This annual competitiveness ranking is closely monitored by governments, academics, economists, investors, and executives, making it a critical barometer of the nation’s standing on the global stage.

Adding to the woes, Malaysia has also dropped in press freedom and happiness rankings in 2024, further highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive reforms.

Will the nation heed the warning signs and embark on a bold new course, or will it continue languishing in the shadows of its more successful neighbours?

Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the road ahead is long and arduous, and Malaysia must summon every ounce of its resolve if it hopes to reclaim its place among the world’s economic elite.

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