Malaysia Says It’s on Track to Achieve High-Income Nation Status

Photographer: Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg

Office workers and tourists cross a road during lunch hour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia is aspiring to become a developed nation in six years, is finding that more than 50 years under one coalition and tight control over information is a mismatch for handling a rapidly growing crisis followed across the world. Close

Office workers and tourists cross a road during lunch hour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.... Read More

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Photographer: Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg

Office workers and tourists cross a road during lunch hour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia is aspiring to become a developed nation in six years, is finding that more than 50 years under one coalition and tight control over information is a mismatch for handling a rapidly growing crisis followed across the world.

The Malaysian government said it’s on track to achieve a goal of becoming a high-income nation by 2020 as the country enters the mid-point of a 10-year program to transform the economy and reduce reliance on oil revenues.

Gross national income per capita in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy rose to $10,060 last year, the government said in the 2013 annual report for its so-called Economic Transformation Program released yesterday. That compares with a previously reported $9,970 in 2012, and the target of $15,000 by 2020. The country received 161.1 billion ringgit ($50 billion) of private investments last year, it said.

Prime Minister Najib Razak is dismantling decades of subsidies to address fiscal risks identified by Fitch Ratings, which cut Malaysia’s credit outlook in July. The government said private consumption now accounts for more than half of gross domestic product, while a broadened tax base has increased revenue even as the country depends less on contributions from its oil and gas industry.

“Malaysia’s economic transformation is evolving to acquire the characteristics of a high-income economy that is service-based, private-consumption driven and being less reliant on oil revenues,” the government said.

A nation is considered high income when GNI per capita meets or exceeds $12,616, according to the World Bank.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manirajan Ramasamy in Kuala Lumpur at rmanirajan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net Shamim Adam, Khalid Qayum

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