Malaysia needs to look at balancing its regional economic growth – World Bank

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to look at balancing its regional economic development in order to narrow the development gap in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor February 2023 report, Ndiame Diop, the country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, said Malaysia’s regional economic development is not aligned.

“What the data shows and it is quite striking is that rather than seeing a convergence of the lagging states with the richer states, there is instead a divergence,” he said, adding that with good public policies, states that are lagging behind would grow much faster than the rich states.

Citing China as an example, Diop said the country had been able to sustain its 10 per cent growth for almost three decades by targeting coastal provinces through extending the supply chain in the event of economic segregation.

“We know that this is a challenging proposition in every country because the challenge is always implementation, governance, and the alignment levels of governments,” he said.

Diop noted that the Ninth Malaysia Plan had thought of regional growth or corridors but the issue is how it can be leveraged for the overall benefit of Malaysia’s economy. – Bernama