High Income Nation Target Can Be Achieved
Malaysia’s target of achieving the high income nation status by 2020 is attainable, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
At an event held in conjunction with the 19th ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting, David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of IMF stressed the importance of ASEAN countries in raising their standard of living to match the levels of the world’s advance economies.
Countries should improve worker productivity, technology, infrastructure, education and financing in order to achieve that, he added.
“With a sustained effort to pursue further reforms, Malaysia’s income level in 2040 could surpass that goal, and essentially converge to the United Kingdom,” he told The Edge.
He claimed that free trade and economic integration including via trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership played an important role in the development of the economy.
Gains from such agreements could range to over 6% for Malaysia, he said.
According to IMF in a report published earlier this month, Malaysia’s economic prospects remained favourable and that Malaysia was well-placed to address risks to its economy given its track record of skillful macroeconomic management, strong policy frameworks, a sound financial system and fiscal prudence.
IMF also lauded the removal of “poorly-targeted fuel subsidies” which had the effect of creating “budgetary space for needed social and capital investment” and called on the government to broaden the revenue base, phase out remaining “untargeted subsidies”, and further improve its public financial management.