Malaysia Compares Favourably to Nordic Countries

Malaysia came out as South East Asis’s fastest rising star in a report from the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), comparing 124 countries in various ways. In education, Malaysia is now the 10th country in terms of the quality of its educational system which can meet the needs of a competitive economy surpassed only by countries or economies like Finland, Singapore, Iceland, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Hong Kong, Belgium and Taiwan.

In the travel and tourism (T&T) industry, Indonesia topped as the most price competitive country in the world with Malasia jumping to a 2nd place while the third most price competitive country was Bahrain. Thailand was fourth.
The report gave top marks to Malaysia’s participation at travel and tourism fairs and ranked the country at sixth position, which reflected the government’s strong commitment to promote the industry, and credited Malaysia for its effectiveness in marketing and branding campaigns to attract tourists.
Malaysia was also perceived as quite safe for tourists (24th overall) and in terms of the reliability of police services, the country was ranked 19th, on par with the United Kingdom but ahead of other developed countries like Spain (22nd), New Zealand (23rd), Portugal (25th), Ireland (29th), Belgium (32nd) and Italy (40th).
The survey was compiled with the assistance of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia (ISIS) and the National Productivity Corporation. Prof Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the WEF, said that T&T is currently one of the world’s largest economic activities and it is also the leading industry in many developing countries.
T&T is also the fastest growing economic sector in terms of job creation worldwide and is estimated to have generated 10.3 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product and provided 234 million jobs or 8.2 per cent of total world employment, he said.
Schwab said most new jobs in developing economies were created in the T&T industry as the latter helped to diversify economic activity and create wealth and jobs in rural areas.

Also within other areas, Malaysia was ranked high. Malaysia was ranked 17th in terms of the extent of investment in employee training and development. With regard to the government’s efforts to reduce health risks from pandemic or widespread diseases, Malaysia was ranked eighth. As for the stringency of environmental regulations, Malaysia ranked 25th and was 23rd in terms of clarity and stability of environmental regulations.
Malaysia was ranked 31st in terms of overall competitiveness in the TTCR 2007 T&T Competitive Index behind three other Asian countries or economies — Singapore (8th), Japan (26th) and Taiwan (29th).
WEF has decided to hold its Forum on East Asia in Kuala Lumpur on June 15 and 16 where 300 leaders from more than 20 countries will convene to debate the challenges and priorities that will ultimately shape the region’s future agenda.

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