Malaysia Set To Become High-Income Nation By 2020

 @SophieXSong
on May 13 2014 9:51 AM
Prime Minister Najib
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (not pictured). REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool

Malaysia will be a high-income nation by 2020, or at least the government hopes so. The Southeast Asian country is on track to achieve that goal as it transforms its economy and reduces its reliance on oil revenues.

Last year, per capita gross national income (GNI) rose to $10,060 in the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia, according to a government report released on Monday that documents the country’s progress as it enters the midpoint of a 10-year program that aims to reorient the economy, Bloomberg reported.

The same figure stood at $9,970 in 2012, and it's expected to hit $15,000 by 2020, far exceeding the $12,616 per capita GNI that marks a high-income nation, according to the World Bank’s guidelines. The country received $50 billion in private investments last year, the report said.

The Malaysian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, is working to dismantle decades of subsidies to transform the country’s economy. Already, progress has been made: Private consumption now accounts for more than half of the country's gross domestic product, while a broadened tax base has increased the government’s revenue and reduced its dependency on the country's 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 ... less reliant on oil revenues,” the government said, according to Bloomberg

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