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OECD Economic Surveys are periodic reviews of member and non-member economies. Reviews of member and some non-member economies are on a two-year cycle; other selected non-member economies are also reviewed from time to time. Each Economic Survey provides a comprehensive analysis of economic developments, with chapters covering key economic challenges and policy recommendations addressing these challenges.

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OECD Economic Surveys: Malaysia 2016

OECD Economic Surveys: Malaysia 2016

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11 Nov 2016
9789264262645 (EPUB) ; 9789264262638 (PDF) ;9789264262621(print)

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This 2016 OECD Economic Survey of Malaysia examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. The special chapters cover: Productivity and Inclusive Growth.

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  • Basic statistics of Malaysia

    This first OECD Economic Assessment of Malaysia was prepared by Hidekatsu Asada, Stewart Nixon and Thomas Chalaux, under the supervision of Vincent Koen. It benefited from contributions at various stages by Mohamed Rizwan Habeeb Rahuman, Abu Zeid Mohd Arif, Faisal Naru, Lynn Robertson, Ruben Maximiano, Massimo Geloso Grosso, Kazuhiro Sugie, Gernot Hutschenreiter and Philippe Larrue. Administrative assistance was provided by Mercedes Burgos and Sisse Nielsen.The draft report was discussed at a meeting of the Economic and Development Review Committee on 19 July 2016, with participation by representatives of the Malaysian authorities. The draft was then revised in the light of the discussions. The cut-off date for data and information used in the Economic Assessment is 31 August 2016.The Economic Assessment is published under the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD.Support from the governments of Japan, Australia and Malaysia is gratefully acknowledged.

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    • Boosting productivity

      Productivity growth is essential to providing sustainable increases in living standards. Malaysia has reached a development stage where growth needs to be driven more by productivity gains than the sheer accumulation of capital and labour inputs. The 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-20) sets an ambitious labour productivity growth target of 3.7% per year, well above than the 2% average growth recorded from 2011 to 2015. Co-ordinated structural reforms will be necessary to achieve the productivity improvements needed to attain high-income country status. Areas where reforms would deliver the greatest boost to productivity include increasing the quality of education and skills training, spurring innovation, adopting information technology more widely, fostering a well-functioning competition policy framework, improving the functioning of the labour market and the regulatory framework for small and medium-sized enterprises, fostering regional integration and raising public sector productivity.

    • Fostering inclusive growth

      Malaysia has followed a comparatively equitable development path, largely eliminating absolute poverty and greatly reduced ethnic inequality. Income and wealth inequality have gradually declined since the mid-1970s. With the people economy at the centre of Malaysia’s ambition to become a high-income country by 2020, the focus is shifting to the challenges of relative poverty and achieving sustainable improvements in individual and societal well-being through inclusive growth. This shift would be aided by reforms in several policy areas where Malaysia may compare favourably within its region but less so relative to OECD countries. This includes reforms to increase access to quality education, provide comprehensive social protection, raise the labour force participation of women and older persons, maintain universal access to quality public healthcare, improve pension system sustainability and adequacy and move towards a tax and transfer system that does more for inclusiveness.

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