Kha, Mei

Malaysia Needs To Identify Areas Of Specialisation To Remain Competitive Globally - PM Najib

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PUTRAJAYA - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia needs to identify areas of specialisation to remain competitive globally, specifically by 2050.

He said the challenge still faced by Malaysia in the effort to transform the national economy, is to drive growth based on productivity, move industry to value added activities and seize opportunities based on the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

"The National Transformation 2050 (TN 50) is the country's long term aspiration and I want to see Malaysia among the world's top 20 countries by 2050.

"In this regard, we need to put down the goal or short and medium term aspiration towards achieving it.

"We need a foundation for the future that is in line with the country's development plan. I hope the gross domestic product (GDP) target can reach RM2 trillion by 2025," he added.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister said this at a roundtable session on current issues with small medium enterprises and techno entrepreneurs and associations at the Perdana Putra Building here today.

Also present was SME Corp Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dr Habsah Hashim and SME Association of Malaysia President, Michael Kang Hua Keong.

The dialogue session also discussed issues related to the economy and to obtain feedback on the TN50.

Najib said Malaysian SMEs played a major role as agents of the economy and in supporting the country's economic growth.

"This is proven with SME contribution to the national economy in 2015 rising to 36.3 per cent compared to 35.9 per cent previously or RM385.6 billion in added value," he added.

Najib said Malaysia needs to continue enhancing competitiveness by improving productivity.

"In this context, the Malaysia Productivity Blueprint launched on May 8 this year is to drive the country's productivity at all levels. In 2015, worker productivity for the SME sector was at the rate of RM47,000 per person and it is targeted to improve this to RM76,400 by 2020," he added.

While providing a number of examples, he said the the government initiated a number of bold policies such as introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), implementing subsidy rationalisation and reducing the fiscal deficit as well as making the Malaysian economy more resilient.

"The government's commitment to strengthen the economy and fiscal position has been acknowledged by international credit rating agencies.

"The people have also begun to understand decisions taken by the government and are increasingly supporting the changes being implemented,' he added.

Najib said the roundtable session can help provide a solution to current economic issues, including medium and long term aspirations such as the Malaysia Plans, as well as TN50.