Competitiveness is the degree to which the nation can produce goods and services which meet the test of international markets, while its citizen earn a standard of living that is both rising and sustainable over the long run. According to the World Competitiveness Center, Institute for Management Development (IMD), competitiveness of nations analyse how nations create and maintain an environment which sustains the competitiveness of enterprises.
The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) is an annual publication of Institute for Management Development (IMD). The Institute for Management Development is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Since 1989, it has been publishing annually the World Competitiveness Yearbook, which ranks nations according to its competitiveness index. The recent report featured the rankings of 57 economies according to its Competitiveness Index.
The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009 (WCY 2009), presents competitiveness ranking in four categories :
Each of the above categories can be assessed by the 4 Competitiveness Input Factors :
Summary of Performance Ranking of Malaysia
Overall Ranking by Competitiveness Input Factors
The World Competitiveness Scoreboard 2009 (Asia Pacific)
The World Competitiveness Scoreboard 2009 (Asean)
The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009 (WCY 2009) presents competitiveness ranking in 4 categories :
By Size (Population exceeding 20 million; and population less than 20 million);
By Wealth (GDP per capita greater than US$20,000 and GDP per capita less than US$20,000);
By Regions (Europe-Middle East-Africa, Asian-Pacific, and The Americas).
The three (3) years` trend for Malaysia on its overall performance and the performance of the 4 factors of competitiveness is shown in Table 1. The overall rankings for Malaysia have shown an improving trend over the past 3 years.
Table 1: Malaysia`s Competitiveness Ranking
Malaysia has overtaken Ireland which was ranked 19th (2008:12th), China Mainland 20th (2008:17th) and Taiwan 23rd (2008: 13th). Malaysia continues to be ahead of the United Kingdom ranked 21st position (2008: 21st), Thailand 26th (2008:27th) and Korea ranked 27th (2008: 31st). United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and Denmark were ranked in the top five among the 57 economies.
The overall index score for Malaysia improved to 77.162 as compared to 73.199 in the previous year. This is the highest index score recorded indicating the robust competitiveness environment of Malaysia.
The overall improved performance of Malaysia in 2009 was attributed largely to the improvements in the rankings for the statistical data, where 43 (36%) out of 121 of the statistical data improved performanced. The ranking for perception data showed that 32 (29%) out of 110 of the perception data recorded improvements in rankings.
For the population greater than 20 million category, Malaysia improved its competitiveness ranking to 6th position among 29 economies (2008: 7th). Among others, Malaysia is more competitive than China Mainland (7th), the United Kingdom (8th), Taiwan (9th), Thailand (10th) and Korea (11th).
The World Competitiveness Scoreboard 2009 (Population Greater than 20 million)
In the GDP per capita less than US$20,000 category, Malaysia garnered the top placing amongst 29 economies. Malaysia is ahead of China Mainland (2nd), Taiwan (3rd), Chile (4th), Thailand (5th), Korea (6th), and India (7th), amongst others.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Malaysia has improved by one placing to 6th position position among 13 economies (2008 : 7th). Malaysia remians more competitive than China Mainland (7th), Taiwan (8th), Thailand (9th), Korea (10th), India (11th), Indonesia (12th) and Philippines (13th) in this category.
Malaysia`s performance according to the four competitiveness inputs factors, among the 57 economies, showed that Malaysia recorded improvement in ranking for Business Efficiency at 13th position (2008: 14th) while maintaining its position in Government Efficiency at 19th. The Economic Performance and Infrastructure factors was at 19th position (2008: 8th) and 26th position (2008: 25th) respectively.
Among the 4 factors, the factor on Economic Performance showed the majority in improvement in rankings. The improvements are in criteria such as exchange rates, diversification of the economy, cost-of-living index, relocation threats of R&D facilities and relocation threats of production, direct investment flows abroad, portfolio investment liabilities, growth in direct investment stocks inward and growth in exports of goods.
The ranking for Government Efficiency maintained at 19th position (2008:19th). Among countries with population greater than 20 million, Malaysia improved to 5th position (2008: 6th). Of the 20 statistical criteria used, there were improvements in rankings for 9 criteria.
The improvement in ranking for these 18 criteria represent an improvement in rankings for 33% of the combined statistical and perception data for Government Efficiency. This improved performance is a reflection of the commendable work done by PEMUDAH is streamlining and improving the government delivery system.
Business Efficiency recorded improvements in ranking to 13th position (2008: 14th). This factor recorded improvements in ranking for criteria such as real productivity growth, compensation levels, availability of credit and venture capital for businesses, and efficiency of large corporations by international standards.
PEMUDAH`s effort at simplying processes and reducing the number of procedures has contributed to improving the environment for ease of doing business in Malaysia. This has impacted positively on the rankings for Business Efficiency. For instance, the number of start-up days in Malaysia has improved to 13 days, from 24 days previously. This has led to improvements in the ranking to 19th position (2008: 28th). The number of start-up days is an indicator of the ease of doing business, and it is used by both the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009 as well as the World Bank Doing Business 2009 report.
The ranking for Infrastructure was at 26th placing (2008: 25th). Malaysia`s performance in Infrastructure remains more competitive than China Mainland at 32nd position, Thailand at 42nd position and India 57th position. Malaysia is also ahead of a new OECD countries such as Spain 31st and Italy, ranked 34th.
In the context of the global crisis, demand for Malaysia`s products and services is affected. IMD noted that for Malaysia to mitigate the adverse effects of the slowdown, Malaysia needs to address the following :
Enhancing efficiency and productivity through public and private sector collaboration to reduce the costs of doing business;
Raising the innovative and creative capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises to be more resilient and market driven;
Ensuring employability of the local workforce through knowledge and skills upgrading as well as mind-set change;
Strengthening Malaysia`s economic growth through innovation, investment and new sources of growth;
Improving infrastructure to drive higher growth in the economy and develop green technology for future sustainability.
THE WORLD COMPETITIVENESS SCOREBOARD 2009 (OVERALL RANGKING)