Malaysia’s GDP growth ‘decent, not spectacular’

Posted on 18 January 2017

Source: The Sun Daily

Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate over the years is decent, but not spectacular, said Professor Dwight H Perkins, Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy and Emeritus in the Faculty of Art and Sciences of Harvard University.

According to him, Malaysia achieved steady growth of 3-4% between 1960 and 2015, which he said is a comfortable position for the country to be in for the next 30 years.

“Malaysia will do fine if it goes on with 3-4% GDP growth per year,” Perkins said.

However, with export levels driven by foreign investments slowing down, it is a challenge for Malaysia to remain within this steady growth rate, going forward.

It is vital for Malaysia to strive towards becoming a more innovative society and not only rely on foreign direct investors to drive innovation forward, in order for it to maintain its steady growth level, Perkins said at a public lecture entitled “Understanding Malaysia’s Growth Rate in Comparison with the Rest of East Asia” yesterday.

An innovative society spurs productivity, and according to Perkins, is an attractive trait that will drive foreign direct investments into the country.

“You have to have an innovative society that develops new businesses, services and industries – and they are the ones who lead with exports,” he said on what it takes for Malaysia to maintain growth of 3-4% a year.

Perkins said Malaysia should focus on remaining within this growth rate, as it is within an optimal level instead, of trying to increase growth levels. Reforms in the education system and immigration policies are crucial for Malaysia if it wants to remain within this steady growth level, he added. 

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