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

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.

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