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Malaysia ranked the 43rd prosperous nation globally: Legatum Institute

MALAYSIA was recently ranked as the 43rd most prosperous country, according to the 2023 Legatum Prosperity Index.

According to the international think tank, which has researched various nations’ prosperity for the last 15 years, the 2023 index has researched 167 territories – referred to as ‘country’ and ‘nation’.

The study has included several elements which are divided into 12 “pillars” in determining the prosperity index in every country listed which are:

1. Safety & security (Measures the degree to which war, conflict, terror and crime have destabilised the security of individuals, both immediately and through longer lasting effects)

2. Personal freedom (Progress towards basic legal rights, individual liberties, and social tolerance)

3. Governance (The extent to which there are checks and restraints on power and whether governments operate effectively and without corruption)

4. Social capital (The strength of personal and social relationships, institutional trust, social norms, and civic participation in a country)

5. Investment environment (The extent to which investments are adequately protected and are readily accessible)

6. Enterprise conditions (Measures the degree to which regulations enable businesses to start, compete, and expand)

7. Infrastructure and market access (Measures the quality of the infrastructure that enables trade and distortions in the market for goods and services)

8. Economic quality (How well an economy is equipped to generate wealth sustainably and with the full engagement of the workforce)

9. Living conditions (A reasonable quality of life is experienced by all, including material resources, shelter, basic service and connectivity)

10. Health (Measures the extent to which people are healthy and have access to the necessary services to maintain good health, including health outcomes, health systems, illness and risk factors, and mortality rates)

11. Education (Measures enrolment, outcomes, and quality across four stages of education [pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education], as well as the skills in the adult population)

12. Natural environment (measures the aspects of the physical environment that have a direct effect on people in their daily lives and changes that might impact the prosperity of future generations)

According to the index, Malaysia placed 73rd worldwide (70.81%) in safety and security, 113th (46.9%) in personal freedom, 50th (57.23%) in governance, 63rd for social capital (57.9%), 27th (73.49%) place for investment environment and 29th (69.24%) for enterprise conditions.

Meanwhile, Malaysia came in 37th (70.62%) place in infrastructure and market access, 34th (64.98%) in economic quality, 64th (79.52%) for living conditions and 42nd (77.35%) in health while education (72.94%) and natural environment (61.07%) both came in 46th place.

“Malaysia performs most strongly in investment environments and enterprise conditions but is weakest in personal freedom,” the index wrote.

The study added that Malaysia has climbed up two places since 2011 and indicated the “biggest improvement”, as quoted from the report, in the social capital pillar from a decade ago.

Globally the index ranked Denmark in first place while Sweden was placed second and Norway in third place.

In terms of rankings between Asian nations, Malaysia came in 6th in the prosperity index while Japan took the top spot while Singapore was placed second and Taiwan in third place.

In the study conducted by Legatum Institute, prosperity is defined as being “far more than wealth”, as quoted, and when everyone has the freedom and opportunity to thrive in their surroundings.

The grading system in the international prosperity index indicates the higher the percentage a country obtains, the higher the ranking. Additionally, each pillar was also colour graded from green to red (green – positive; red – negative).

Source: The Sun

Malaysia ranked the 43rd prosperous nation globally: Legatum Institute


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Kuala Lumpur has been ranked the second most outstanding city in Southeast Asia, behind Singapore, in the Oxford Economics Global Cities Index 2024.

The latest list shows that the city is positioned at 135 out of 1,000 cities worldwide.

Singapore emerged as the top city in Southeast Asia, ranking 42nd in the index.

Other major Southeast Asian cities include Bangkok at 192nd place, followed by Manila at 256th and Jakarta at 284th.

Globally, New York City secured the top spot in the index, followed by London, and San Jose in California.

Oxford Economics said that the index covered 1,000 major cities across 163 countries.

It comprises five categories: economy, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance, which are aggregated to create an overall score for each city.

According to the Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, Kuala Lumpur is ranked 106th in terms of economy, which is measured by the size, structure, and growth of each city’s economy, assessing historical performance and future potential.

In terms of human capital, which measures the educational and business climate of each city in line with demographic trends, Kuala Lumpur is ranked 21st.

The index indicates that Kuala Lumpur ranks 391st for quality of life, which considers the benefits of living in each city and the well-being of its residents, including financial and health outcomes, as well as access to amenities.

In the categories of environment and governance, Kuala Lumpur is ranked 526th and 334th out of 1,000 cities worldwide, respectively.

Besides Kuala Lumpur, other Malaysian cities on the index include George Town, at 351st, followed by Melaka at 359th and Johor Baru at 376th.

Oxford Economics City Services director Mark Britton, said cities are the centres of human civilisation where innovation, diversity, and progress converge.

However, he said that the complex dynamics of cities often reduce the general understanding of the factors that make a city successful.

“The Oxford Economics Global Cities Index provides a consistent framework for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s 1,000 greatest cities. Combined with our projections, it enables organisations and policymakers to make more informed strategic decisions.

“While the index scores are based on current performance, there is significant potential for movement in the rankings in the coming years as these 1,000 global cities navigate various global trends.

“These include economic uncertainty, political instability, high debt levels, globalisation trends, pressures on health and housing, and the impacts of climate change. These are among the global trends that could potentially alter the rankings,” he said.

Source: NST

KL rated second most outstanding city in Southeast Asia


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Showcasing an improved performance in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject 2024, Malaysia is now ranked the third highest in Asia and the sixth highest in the world.

The country charted a 22% improvement rate in the rankings, which offer independent data on the performance of 240 programmes at 25 Malaysian universities.

Among the country’s ranked programmes, 84 improved and 38 were ranked for the first time.

Taylor’s University is the highest ranked Malaysian higher education institution, according to a QS press release dated April 10.

This year, the institution achieved a record-breaking feat with 17 subjects ranked globally and four subjects in the world’s Top 100. Taylor’s placed 19th for Hospitality and Leisure Management, making it Asia’s third best entry for the subject.

It was the first time the varsity’s Marketing programme appeared in the rankings, debuting in the 21-50 band. Other fields which recorded significant achievements were Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in the 51-70 band and Art and Design in the 51–100 band.

Both Accounting and Finance, and Architecture and Built Environment, were in the 101–150 band, while Economics and Econometrics, and Sociology, were in the 151-200 band.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Barry Winn said the rankings are a testament to the institution’s commitment to teaching excellence and its supportive learning community.

“The inclusion of 17 subjects in the rankings highlights the breadth and depth of excellence across our academic offerings.

“This achievement not only demonstrates our ability to excel in a diverse range of disciplines, but also underscores our commitment to providing a holistic and top-tier education to our students,” he said.

Universiti Malaya (UM) is the country’s most represented institution in the rankings with 38 of its subjects ranked – 21 of which were in the global top 100, including its highest performing entry, Library and Information Management, in 28th place.

The country’s oldest varsity is also home to Malaysia’s two most improved subject entries, with its Pharmacy programme climbing 29 rungs to 72nd spot, and its Economics programme in the top 100, placing 93rd, due to improvements in research metrics, primarily Citations per Paper.

Attributing its success to “hard work and great tenacity”, UM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Noor Azuan Abu Osman said the entire campus community, particularly the academic and research talent pool and non-academic workforce, has been striving to meet the varsity’s key performance indicators.

He described the rankings as a “push factor” that will drive UM to carry out necessary improvements to face the challenges ahead.

“There is no time for complacency. This feat will inspire us to work even harder for the benefit of the country and the world,” he said.

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) ranked 20th for Petroleum Engineering, making it the second best in Asia, while its Mineral and Mining Engineering programme moved up from 49th to 41st this year.

The varsity is now ranked under two broad subjects – Engineering and Technology, and Natural Sciences – and has eight subjects that climbed in rankings compared to last year.

The most notable improvement is the broad subject Engineering and Technology, which jumped 25 spots from 200th in 2023 to 175th in 2024.

Natural Sciences, said UTP vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib, is a new entrant and a significant milestone for the varsity.

Describing the achievement as a “significant advancement across multiple areas”, he said the varsity was “thrilled” with its progress in the rankings.

“This recognition acknowledges our growing strength and paves the way for future scientific advancements,” he said, adding that the rankings underscore UTP’s unwavering commitment to providing world-class education.

With 26 of its subjects ranked, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) showed the most improvement in Malaysia.

Its overall improvement rate was 42%, and its highest ranked entry was Veterinary Science, which climbed six positions to place at 40th spot.

Management and Science University (MSU) rose from 46th last year to 29th for Hospitality and Leisure Management.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) remained in the top 50 for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies, and UCSI University ranked 42nd for Performing Arts.

“UCSI University is glad to maintain its long-standing tradition of excellence in music and performing arts.

“We are also encouraged to improve our subject ranking in Art and Design by more than 100 positions over the past two years,” its vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said, adding that the varsity will continue striving to enhance learning experiences, research and graduate outcomes for its students.

QS senior vice president Ben Sowter said universities experiencing upward mobility have benefited from sustained, targeted investment, highlighting the importance of government support.

“Meanwhile, the development of partnerships with industry correlates with improved performance in employment and research,” he added.

The full rankings can be found at https://www.topuniversities.com/subject-rankings/2024.

Source: The Star

Malaysia among Asia’s top three in world rankings


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Malaysia has been listed in the top 20 as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

A detailed analysis by Insider Monkey said Asia’s regional economic growth has improved, projected at 4.5 per cent as opposed to prior expectations of 4.2 per cent.

The report was quoted saying that Asia is expected to contribute two-thirds to the global growth.

In the list, Malaysia came in 14th place recording the country’s real GDP growing at 4.3 per cent and GDP per capita growing at 6.75 per cent.

However, Malaysia’s real GDP growth was recorded at four per cent in 2023 and 8.7 per cent in 2022.

An analysis by the International Monetary Fund also showed the country’s inflation rate was recorded at 2.7 per cent compared to last year’s rate at 2.9 per cent.

In the list, Thailand took the 20th spot with the country’s real GDP growth rate at 3.2 per cent and GDP per capita at 5.94 per cent.

Meanwhile, the top five Asian countries listed as the fastest-growing economies are:

1. Macao (2024 real GDP growth rate (2024) at 27.2 per cent and 2024 GDP Per Capita Growth Rate at 29.16 per cent)

2. India (2024 real GDP growth rate at 6.3 per cent and 2024 GDP per capita growth rate at 9.00 per cent)

3. Cambodia (2024 real GDP growth rate at 6.1 per cent and 2024 GDP per capita growth rate at 6.34 per cent).

4. Bangladesh (2024 real GDP growth rate at 6 per cent and 2024 GDP per capita growth rate at 0.94 per cent)

Source: The Sun

Malaysia ranked 14th as fastest growing economy in Asia


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Malaysia stands as one of the top four countries identified as prime offshore locations in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a study conducted by Knight Frank.

The research indicates a significant expansion in the Asia-Pacific outsourcing market, with Malaysia, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam recognised as established players in the global offshore landscape.

Malaysia has consistently been ranked as the third-best global outsourcing location since 2014. The study further highlighted Malaysia’s substantial contribution, with an estimated share of over eight per cent in the Asia-Pacific offshoring market.

The report indicated that Penang is emerging to be a major offshoring hub that has built up offices catering to these facilities in Bayan Lepas. This is in line with the state government’s plans to drive the economy by making Penang a prime investment destination for global business services activities, research and development, and technology hubs.

Prime office rent in Penang is about 25 per cent lower than those in the country’s capital, it noted.

“Companies today face a multitude of challenges, including cost management, sustainability, talent retention, and attraction. At a time when companies worldwide are looking to increase performance, efficiency, and innovation while also prioritising cost control, Asia-Pacific offers considerably lower operating costs, at nearly 70 per cent less than the United States, based on Knight Frank research. 

  “For every square foot of office space, occupiers can expect to save on average US$70.86 in the four cities compared with mature markets. This translates to a staggering 54 per cent cutback in occupancy costs annually,” said Knight Frank global head of occupier strategy and solutions Tim Armstrong.

He said that globally, the office sector is going through a generational shift, with three distinct flights to quality taking place: a flight to sustainable buildings, a flight to amenity-rich offices, and a flight to offices that can provide greater flexibility.

“With the decline in confidence in the office sector, most pronounced in the US, occupiers are turning to the Asia-Pacific. High-quality premium office space in city centres and ESG-compliant buildings remain highly sought after by occupiers in this region as they prioritise 2030 net-zero targets. 

  “Moreover, the highly educated, versatile, and multilingual talent pool in the region’s developing markets is well-equipped to deliver high-quality customer service, positioning them ahead of the curve,” he added. 

Knight Frank Asia Pacific research head Christine Li said cost savings factors are expected to encourage offshoring activities, as evident in India, whereby the country’s leasing transactions involving the Global Compatibility Centre’s proportion rose by 10 per cent, accounting for 35 per cent of the total market share.

  “This trend was similarly observed in the other three key markets, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam, where offshoring is playing an increasingly significant role in driving demand for office spaces,” said Li.

  She added that occupiers are still cost-conscious due to the challenging macro environment. The silver lining is that corporate occupiers continue to prioritise offshoring functions, fuelling headcount growth in regions that offer growth and innovation at a lower cost while maintaining efficiency in pricier locations. 

  “As such, occupiers concentrate on boosting office demand in these strategic locations while reducing real estate needs elsewhere. 

  “This strategic resource allocation helps mitigate rental declines in markets such as Vietnam and the Philippines, while rents have even strengthened in Malaysia and India despite higher vacancies,” she said. 

She said that with higher demand, rental prices in Malaysia may increase for prime office markets as the flight-to-quality trend grows. 

Source: NST

Malaysia among four prime offshore locations in Asia-Pacific: Knight Frank study


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Malaysia has shown significant progress in information and communication technology (ICT) development in recent years as the government and private sector collaborate to invest in digital technology and infrastructure.

As a result, Malaysia has quickly risen to the 15th position globally and third in the Asean region in the 2023 ICT Development Index (IDI) published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

For comparison, Malaysia was reported to be in the eighth position in the Asia Pacific Region in the 2015 IDI. Globally, Malaysia was ranked 64th out of 167 economies.

IT analyst Mohd Fazli Azran Abd Malek said this is evidence of the government’s continuous commitment to lead progressive changes in technology innovation and digital transformation, especially in high-speed internet connectivity and other advances in telecommunications technology.

This achievement is also attributed to the establishment of Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), which offers 5G network services in Malaysia in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital), he said.

“This places Malaysia at the forefront of the digital economy by 2030 and ensures the country remains competitive in the era of digitalisation.

“I believe, with the government’s comprehensive support and collaboration from various parties, these factors have contributed to Malaysia’s improved ranking last year,” he told Bernama.

Mohd Fazli Azran, who is also the chief digital innovation officer of Yayasan Digital Malaysia (MyDigital) said the progress achieved will enable the government to implement communication infrastructure plans to foster digital economic growth and help Malaysia produce more technology leaders without relying on external expertise.

Similarly, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics Perdana Centre lecturer Associate Professor Dr. Mazlan Ali said the latest recognition is related to the improvement in digital infrastructure that has been steadily increasing.

Overall, he said, Malaysia’s progress is encouraging for the continued path towards a digital economy, and the government, through the relevant agencies, needs to remain committed to ensuring the communication and multimedia industry remains resilient.

“Despite the political power fluctuations in Malaysia, democracy is good. In fact, our country does not have many digital restrictions as seen in some neighbouring countries.

“So I believe that with continuous investment in infrastructure and policies, Malaysia has the potential to emerge as a major leader in the digital landscape in this region,” he said.

Yesterday, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that Malaysia scored 94.5 out of a total of 100 points, surpassing the global average score of 72.8 points, thus demonstrating outstanding achievements towards achieving universal and meaningful connectivity goals.

The IDI 2023, which measured 10 indicators, reported that Malaysia has, among others, achieved near-universal coverage of 4G or LTE mobile networks, high mobile-broadband subscriptions and affordable prices for mobile and fixed-broadband services as well as high rates of Internet usage, mobile phone ownership and Internet traffic. 

Source: Bernama

Malaysia rises to 15th position globally and third in Asean 2023 ICT Development Index


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The federal capital has been ranked eighth globally and third in Asia for being the best city to live in by a recent global survey.

According to the InterNations’ annual Expat City Ranking, Kuala Lumpur stood out among the 49 cities worldwide covered in the report.

Globally, Kuala Lumpur came in eighth place, trailing four cities in Spain, Mexico City, and the two United Arab Emirates (UAE) cities mentioned earlier.

Kuala Lumpur holds the second position in Asia, trailing behind the leading cities of the UAE, namely Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.

The rankings were determined by assessing the experiences of expatriates in the past year, with InterNations conducting a survey of over 12,000 expats globally.

A thorough examination included 177 expat nationalities in 181 countries or territories, assessing factors such as the ease of adaptation, personal finances, quality of life, and other pertinent aspects.

Furthermore, Malaysia was ranked as the fourth-best country in the world for expats to live, behind Mexico, Spain, and Panama.

The study also highlighted Malaysia’s significant improvement in quality of life rankings, advancing from 44th out of 52 destinations in 2022 to 29th out of 53 this year.

Source: NST

Kuala Lumpur ranked eighth globally and third in Asia as best city to live in


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Malaysia ranks 42nd in the best performing upper-middle income group as a talent competitive country, just behind Brunei and China, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2023 released by INSEAD in collaboration with Descartes Institute for the Future and the Human Capital Leadership Institute.

The GTCI measures how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent. It provides resources for decision makers to understand the global talent competitiveness scene and develop strategies to boost their economies. The 10th edition of the report covers 134 countries around the world across all income groups.  

Malaysia managed to make it into the top quartile, ranked at 34th, for Global Knowledge Skills, which is boosted by its 27th position for the Talent Impact of its export driven economy.

The country also ranked eighth in Digital Skills, third in High Value Exports and ninth in brain retention.

This chart illustrates the strong positive correlation between quality of life in a country and its talent performance before and after Covid-19. The trend resumed in 2022 and can be expected to continue, and possibly accelerate, in the following years.

The country is ranked 38th in the pool of Vocational and Technical Skills and ranked the lowest under Attract, when it involved tolerance towards immigrants and gender equality, at the 71st spot. This, in turn, affected, Internal Openness, which placed Malaysia in the 98th place.

Meanwhile, Singapore was placed within the top three, as the second of world’s most talent competitive countries in the GTCI 2023. Switzerland took the first spot and the US was placed third.

European countries continued to dominate the Top 25, with 17 of them ranked in that category. Beyond Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Israel joined The top 25. UAE moved up from 25th to 22nd while Japan dropped out to be replaced by South Korea (24th).  

Some notable examples of the best improvers over the past decade were China, having moved from being a talent mover to a talent champion, and Indonesia which possessed great strengths in talent competitiveness.

Talent inequalities persist

However, the report found that the global landscape for talent competitiveness remains fraught with inequalities.

“In other words, poorer economies do not perform as well on the talent scene as richer economies.

“Despite the significant progress of the demographic powerhouses, India and China, up the talent ladder, and India’s successful efforts to close the gap between its economy and that of China, the wealth/talent correlation remains strong,” stated the report.

Moreover, the report noted that in most parts of the world, women are paid less than men at comparable levels of training and qualifications. They also have fewer career development opportunities and less access to higher levels of responsibility.

“In many emerging and poorer economies, the gender divide is stronger still, with girls having fewer opportunities to attend school, not to mention higher education.

“The rapid expansion of new working practices, such as online collaboration, alongside the accelerating adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in various industries will undoubtedly have an impact on some of the fundamental parameters of the jobs/skills equation. Unqualified or low-qualified labour will bear much of the additional pressure, while new categories of workers, some with higher skills, will suffer from stronger competition from algorithms and specialised equipment,” it stated.

Talent ‘less’ attached to physical location

The report also found that talent is less tightly attached to a particular physical location post-Covid-19 and this is especially true for high-skilled workers.

“In such a renewed landscape, an increasing number of talents can make choices about where they want to live and where and how they wish to work. One of the resulting trends that GTCI identified is the growing value of quality of life in decisions made both by individuals and by recruiting organisations when considering physical location,” it stated.

Cities and regions too play increasingly important roles in talent initiatives. One of the findings of GCTCI was that second-tier cities increasingly became the places where the most successful talent policies were deployed.

“Such cities, often medium or modest sized, frequently demonstrated an ability to be more dynamic and more attractive than larger metropolises. Such a trend is only one facet of the complex set of phenomena by which cities have become prominent players on the global talent scene, and may be a harbinger of other possible changes.

“Cities could play a growing role by taking on some of the responsibilities that national governments have abandoned, or are unable to fulfil. This could occur in fields like international trade or investment, for example, through the adoption of exceptional fiscal or incentive regimes at the local level,” it added.

The GTC Index also noted that talent competitiveness has become a key vector of geopolitics. “Just as international tensions and rivalries have contributed to a decrease in multilateral cooperation and disciplines, the ability of enterprises and organisations, such as universities, to cooperate across national borders has been significantly reduced.”

The effects of limiting international travel, as initially required by pandemic concerns, have been partially offset by the rapid adoption of online collaboration tools and new work habits. “Yet, as the GTCI time series suggests, neither the recent period nor the one to come have created fertile ground for one of the most positive trends identified before Covid: that of ‘brain circulation’,” said the report.

“A proven ability to operate in different geographical and cultural contexts has become a major plus for large segments of the global workforce. By putting a sudden stop to international travel, Covid created a radically different environment for global brain circulation. To a large extent, this negative trend was offset by the growing tendency among organisations of all sizes to rely on a more systemic use of online collaboration tools.

“Although international travel resumed swiftly once health-related limitations were relaxed, persistent levels of geopolitical uncertainty, renewed nationalistic and protectionist tendencies, and the resulting decrease in international cooperation continue to hamper direct, face-to-face cooperation and, hence, the cross-fertilisation of talent,” it found.

The report added that the new generations are reshaping the world of work. “An increasing proportion of younger generations, especially among those with a higher level of education, were considering other priorities. This might include having a meaningful job by contributing positively to society or the environment, or enjoying a healthier work-life balance.

“As mentioned above, when considering the role of cities as talent hubs, quality of life has become a key factor in the choices made by younger cohorts about their working and living environment.

“The same phenomena have also led to the emergence of a new generation of workers for whom the traditional value of loyalty to their employer has quickly eroded. Gig-working and short-term contracts, often combined into parallel lines of work, have become the norm for a growing number of free agents on the global talent scene,” it added.

INSEAD’s 10th year edition of the report highlights outlooks for talent competitiveness in the next decade, which mentioned that quality of life and sustainability, along with new talent strategies and innovation will be critical assets for cities and regions aiming to become talent hubs.

As talent competitiveness grows fiercer and gains more importance, global talent-focused policies remain crucial in harnessing human and technological power. Moreover, education and skills will be vital tools in making meaningful contributions to the economy.

Challenging roads are ahead with talent inequalities remaining high amongst countries especially with the global talent landscape being significantly altered by Covid. Aside from gender gaps in equal pay and career growth, uncertainties and geopolitical tensions continue to hinder collaboration and talent cross-fertilisation.

Furthermore, new generations are prioritising meaningful jobs with work-life balance instead of high-demand skills. AI and new work practices have also disrupted the job landscape, affecting unskilled and highly-skilled workers.

The GTC Index has repeatedly emphasised how cities had been able to deploy original and effective talent strategies, and how “second-tier” cities were increasingly successful at deploying talent policies.

“It is now time to look at the future. Talent competition will be one of the pillars of the next age of globalisation. Our collective ability to make the world less unequal, and the planet more sustainable will depend heavily on our capacity to grow, attract and nurture the right talents,” said Bruno Lanvin, co-author of the report, distinguished fellow at INSEAD and founder and president of Descartes Institute for the Future.

While milestones should be celebrated, it is also important to make improvements in embracing new technologies and adapt to the changing talent landscape with the new generation coming into the workforce.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

Malaysia ranked 42nd in the global talent competitiveness index


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Malaysia has improved its standing as a financially inclusive market, rising two spots to 18th place out of 42 global markets in the 2023 Global Financial Inclusion Index by Principal Financial Group (Principal) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

According to the World Bank, financial inclusion is defined as ‘individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.’

Consumer data showed a significant positive increase in perceptions of financial inclusion across Southeast Asia, wherein Malaysia jumped into the top half of the rankings for public perception, ranking 15th from 20th place previously.

According to the survey, the country saw improvements across two of the three pillars of financial inclusion, ranking 22nd (from 24th) for government support, 17th for financial system support (from 23rd), while maintaining its fifth place ranking for employer support.

Significant improvements in Malaysia’s digital economy contributed to its improved overall financial inclusion position, with improved rankings for the “volume of real-time transactions” (up 13 places to 14th) and “online connectivity’ (up three places to 24th) indicators.

Principal Malaysia country head and chief executive officer Munirah Khairuddin said the continued focus on digitalisation and other initiatives that eliminate barriers to people’s ability to save and invest will further improve financial inclusion across the country.

“Principal is proud to join in this effort through the embrace of e-wallet solutions, which allows Malaysians to build optimal portfolios to achieve their financial goals.

“We will continue to work across sectors to help broaden awareness and access to the financial tools needed to help reach financial security,” she added.

Source: NST

Malaysia now 18th most financially inclusive market


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Malaysia has been recognised as the best country in Southeast Asia in the Energy Transition Index by the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently.

The index takes into account the system performance and the country’s readiness to switch to more environmentally friendly energy sources.

According to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, this achievement shows that Malaysia is on the right track to manage a fast, safe and affordable energy transition.

“Malaysia also has various strategic advantages such as a strategic location, diverse renewable energy sources (RES) and a high level of skills to become a regional leader in the field of energy transition,” he said in a statement today.

According to him, Malaysia is expected to be able to seize the opportunity to attract global investments in the clean technology sector which has reached RM5 trillion in 2022.

This value is expected to continue to increase in the coming years, he said.

Meanwhile, on July 27, 2023, the Economy Ministry will launch the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) Phase 1 during the Invest Malaysia KL 2023 Special Series programme organised by Bursa Malaysia in collaboration with CLSA and Maybank in Kuala Lumpur.

The launch of NETR Phase 1 is the starting point in efforts to mainstream the energy transition of the national development narrative.

NETR will announce the implementation of 10 flagship pilot projects that are expected to generate investments amounting to RM25 billion, the creation of 23,000 high-quality job opportunities and the reduction of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by more than 10,000 gigagrammes per year cumulatively.

NETR is a comprehensive follow-up to the current policy reforms related to RES by the Economy Ministry and the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, particularly the new target increase of renewable energy installed capacity from 40 per cent in 2035 to 70 per cent by 2050.

The Economy Ministry hopes that NETR can drive a strategic agenda to create new high-paying job opportunities, boost domestic and foreign investment participation, ensure the continuity of the country’s energy supply and make Malaysia a regional leader in the clean energy industry in the long term.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia ranked first place in S-E Asia in WEF energy transition index


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A new study has found that Malaysia ranks fourth among the most affordable places to live in from 29 countries surveyed.

Economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the Utility Bidder UK affordability index is based on the average cost of electricity, gas and housing benchmarked to income levels for cross-country comparisons.

“While it broadly indicates cross-country differences, it is important to note that the index does not cover other living costs as captured within a typical household consumption basket.

“It only takes into account the price of electricity, gas and housing against the gross national incomes per capita.”

Yeah said it found Malaysia ranked second in having the cheapest electricity prices, with household electricity sold at a rate of US$0.05 (RM0.23) per kWh used.

“Malaysia’s high score in electricity affordability is largely due to the producer and consumer subsidies provided by the government.

“Although it recently reduced electricity subsidies, especially for high-income groups based on the amount of power consumed, the electricity tariffs for general consumers remain low compared with other countries.

“It is the same for natural household gas prices. The household usage of natural gas is cheaper because of subsidies provided to independent power producers. The subsidies also help contribute to the low electricity prices for consumers,” said Yeah.

The study found that household natural gas usage was priced at US$0.026 (RM0.12) per kWh, which is ranked third after Argentina and Belarus.

Yeah, a member of the advisory body for the Finance Ministry, said relative affordability is based on the property price-to-income ratio.

“Many other countries had implemented a near-zero or low-interest rate environment after the 2008 global financial crisis.
Low-interest rates tend to increase demand for property, which will drive prices upwards. However, compared with the rising property prices in many other countries, those in Malaysia have been on a downward trend for many years, until it went up slightly recently.”

According to the National Property Information Centre, data from the second quarter of last year showed that average home prices stood at RM439,084 compared with RM444,230 in the first quarter of that year.

Yeah said while prices have been gradually decreasing, the distribution of average income per capita was still unequal.

He added that it is not surprising that Malaysia was ranked eighth in housing affordability with a score of 8.1. This is because while prices have been going down, low and middle-income Malaysians still find it beyond their reach.

He said although Malaysia has been ranked top four in the list of most affordable countries to live in, there is still more to be done to improve affordability and cost of living.

“The government should continue to foster market competition and help ease the costs of starting or doing business by minimising regulatory costs and helping to foster a business-friendly environment.

“Foreigners will want to participate in the Malaysian workforce if the cost of living in the country is cheap and affordable.

“Other measures can include encouraging entrepreneurship, adopting technology and value-adding activities through innovation that will raise the efficiency and productivity of the country’s production systems and supply chains.”

Source: The Sun Daily

Malaysia ranked fourth most affordable country


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The Global AI Index which ranks the state of AI development in 62 countries has placed Malaysia at No 44, trailing behind Singapore which ranked in the top three.

Researchers measured the ranking based on analysis centered around three main pillars namely investment, innovation and implementation. The pillars are then broken down to score each country based on progress in seven aspects, such as talent, infrastructure and government strategy.

The United States, which came in first, achieved an overall score of 100 out of 100 where it has made significant strides towards generating talent, infrastructure, research, development and commercial investment for AI.

In second place is China with an overall score of 61.5 while Singapore is ranked third with an overall score of 50.

The report stated that Singapore scored highly on most relative indicators, where it achieved over 80 points for infrastructure and government strategy. It noted that Singapore has made “huge advancements” through government efforts aimed at boosting AI for research, innovation and human capital.

Malaysia achieved an overall score of 19.6 with the highest 72.2 points for operating environment and 65.3 points for infrastructure. However, Malaysia scored lowly for talent, research, development and commercial. In terms of government strategy, the Global AI Index gave Malaysia 48.1 points.

The Global AI Index was released on June 28 by Tortoise Media, a London-based journalism platform founded by former BBC News director James Harding.

The index comes from a range of 28 different data sources such as government reports, public databases from international organisations, think tanks and private companies to measure national ecosystems that determine capacity for AI.

Source: The Star

Global AI Index ranks Malaysia at 44, Singapore in top three with US and China


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Malaysia jumped from 32nd to 27th in the 2023 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR), reflecting investor confidence and reaffirming the country’s commitment to current economic policies and strategic direction as the preferred destination for investment and trade.

Sunway University economics professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the recent success underlined the country’s commitment to present economic policies and strategic orientation as the preferred location for investment and trade.

“It is also a recognition of the rising level of foreign direct investment as well as investor confidence in our economic performance.

“In addition, the consistent rise will encourage the government to focus on other areas that have been identified as needing more attention such as human capital development, digital and business regulatory reforms, and sustainable development,” he said.

According to the IMD, Malaysia ranked 27th in the world’s most competitive economies in 2023, up from 32nd in 2022, thanks to economic recovery, investment growth, and bright spots in exchange rate stability and the labour market.

While Malaysia’s strengths include prices, basic infrastructure, and tax policies, the IMD noted that the country fell short in the following sub-factor rankings: business legislation, education, and sociocultural framework.

On that point, Yeah stated that there is still room for improvement in terms of ease of doing business and regulatory burden reduction.

“The quality of education must also be improved to ensure a supply of talent that meets industry skill needs,” he said, adding that social cohesion should be further enhanced through inclusive policies and national efforts to promote unity.

Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd head of economics and social finance Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the current development in the IMD ranking showed that the government is on the correct route to steer the country towards becoming a developed nation.

“Being competitive would imply, among other things, ease of doing business, clarity and consistency in policy, and a credible legal framework that allows businesses to thrive.

“This, in turn, could lead to additional employment from our skill pool, particularly among graduates,” he said.

Putra Business School economic analyst Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff explained that the ranking is based on hard data as well as the perception of global managers.

“With political stability achieved last year, it improved the perception of managers in Malaysia’s economic prospects as well as its competitiveness.

“Last year also saw Malaysia’s gross domestic product growth soar to 8.7 per cent, which indicates the competitiveness as well,” he said.

Ahmed Razman further said that the improvement in prices was due to the country’s ability to keep the inflation rate low compared to other ASEAN countries.

The IMD World Competitiveness Report is based on 336 competitiveness criteria divided into four categories: economic performance, government efficiency, corporate efficiency, and infrastructure.

Malaysia, ranked 27th out of 64 economies, improved in all four competitiveness categories, indicating the country’s optimistic and resilient success in the face of global economic uncertainties and crises, as well as multifaceted domestic obstacles.

Denmark held on to its top spot in the list for the second year in a row, Ireland moved from seventh to second while Switzerland went down a rung to third.

Source: Bernama

Economists: Improvement in IMD WCR reflects investors confidence in Malaysia


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Malaysia continues to be the largest Islamic banking market in Asia-Pacific with 62.7 per cent of the region’s total Islamic banking assets and the country is likely to maintain its strong position in the next two years, according to S&P Global Ratings.

The rating agency said Islamic financing in Southeast Asia are expected to grow by eight per cent over the next two years, with Malaysia retaining its dominant market position.

“Islamic banks in core markets of Malaysia and Indonesia have healthy capitalisation and stable retail deposit bases,” it said in a report on Asia-Pacific Islamic banking sector.

Based on S&P Global’s estimates, Asia-Pacific holds a 20.7 per cent share of global Islamic banking assets (Iran is excluded due to the extreme volatility of the country’s currency) and Southeast Asia accounts for 80 per cent of Asia-Pacific’s Islamic banking assets.

On growth drivers for the region, it said they include the proposed merger of Malaysia Building Society Bhd and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd, which will create a full-service Islamic bank in Malaysia, as well as increasing digitalisation of banking services in the region.

Another growth driver is the robust demand and significant untapped market potential in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the agency said.

S&P Global forecast that Malaysian Islamic banks’ share of Islamic financing in Southeast Asia will increase to 45 per cent by 2026.

On profitability trend, it said profitability for Malaysian Islamic banks is expected to stay flattish in 2023.

“A decline in margins amid higher funding costs will be balanced by the normalisation of tax rate,” it said.

S&P Global said some small Islamic banks saw sharp rebound in profits due to lower provisions.

“(However,) over the next two years, large Malaysian banks will continue to outperform smaller ones due to diversified business profiles and operating efficiencies,” it added.

The rating firm also said Malaysia’s Islamic banks are leading the way on environmental, social and governance (ESG) practice.

It said 18 per cent of total financing goes to priority sectors, with small and medium enterprises being the largest recipient of responsible financing (61.8 per cent).

S&P Global reported that regulatory incentives will facilitate an increase in issuance of sustainability sukuk, and these include tax deductions until 2025 and grants to cover external review costs.

“Meanwhile, the issuance of international sustainability sukuk will diversify investor base and broaden the awareness of Islamic finance,” it added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia to remain region’s top Islamic banking market over next 2 years


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It was a major improvement from rankings of 41 in 2018 and 32 in 2016

Malaysia has jumped 15 ranks in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2023 to 26 ranks, emerging as the second-best performing Asean country after Singapore.

It was a major improvement from rankings of 41 in 2018 and 32 in 2016. The statement said the last edition of the report was published in 2018.

“The best ranking Malaysia has attained was 25 in the World Bank LPI 2014 report,” Malaysia Productivity Corp (MPC) DG Datuk Abdul Latif Haji Abu Seman said in a statement.

The LPI report, the seventh edition of “Connecting to Compete”, comes after three years of supply chain disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic and covers the latest view on trade logistics performance of 139 countries.

Abdul Latif said the LPI report is a benchmarking tool to help countries identify where improvements in international trade logistics can be made to increase competitiveness.

LPI measures the ease of establishing reliable and timely supply chain connections and the structural factors that make it possible, such as the quality of logistics services, trade and transport-related infrastructure, and border controls.

The latest LPI 2023 edition introduces a new set of key performance indicators, derived from a big data approach, measuring the speed of trade globally. The indicators are based on technological advances in tracking actual high-frequency international movements of maritime shipping, containers, air freight and postal parcels by trade lane and gateway, the statement added.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Malaysia jumps 15 ranks in World Bank Logistics Index


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Universiti Malaya (UM) is Malaysia’s strongest institution overall, and the country’s highest ranked, in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject 2023.

With 36 subjects ranked, including 15 in the world top 100 (a decrease of two subjects, compared with last year’s 17), UM also produced some of Malaysia’s highest quality research and is the country’s most collaborative university, in terms of international research.

Of UM’s ranked subjects, Library and Information Management, and Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies were ranked in the top 50.

Chemistry at UM was Malaysia’s most improved subject, climbing 33 ranks to place 104th.

The other two subjects at the varsity that made the most improvement were Medicine, up 16 spots to place 128th, and English Language and Literature, up eight spots to place 52nd.

Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor expressed confidence that the varsity would improve further.

The implementation of its strategic plan, he said, would lead UM to be a self-sustaining and dynamic university capable of producing leaders, imparting knowledge, and providing solutions that would impact the nation.

“I am pleased that our UM community continues to place Malaysia on the global stage through our dedication, commitment and hard work towards serving the nation and impacting the world.”

In terms of total subjects ranked, UM was followed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, which each had 24 subjects ranked.

Released at 6pm Wednesday (March 22), the rankings offered independent data on the performance of programmes at Malaysian universities.

Of the 210 programmes, 56 improved, 53 declined and 90 remained unchanged, while 11 programmes were ranked for the first time.

With an overall improvement of 82%, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) is the world’s most improved institution. None of its ranked subjects declined in this year’s rankings, making it one of only eight universities in the world with 10 or more entries to achieve this feat.

UTP vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib said the rankings spoke volumes of its comprehensive strategy to be a sustainable, dynamic and digitalised university.

“We will continue to strive for excellence in academic, research and student experience.

“In research and innovation, we will support PETRONAS’ energy transition initiatives to move towards Net Zero Carbon Emission (NZCE) as one of our key areas in our quest towards sustainable global prominence,” Prof Mohamed Ibrahim added.

Taylor’s University improved by 42% in the rankings and was home to three top 100 programmes, namely Hospitality & Leisure Management, Art and Design, and Business and Management Studies. 

The varsity was also among the world’s 20 most improved institutions with 10 or more ranked subjects.

Attributing the institution’s success to its approach of curriculum innovation and adaptability to the changing landscape of education, Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll said the varsity was constantly evolving its programmes to ensure that graduates were equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s dynamic and ever-changing industries.

“We are committed to providing our students with the best possible education and opportunities to excel,” he said.

UCSI University, the fourth highest ranked local institution with its Performing Arts programme at 21st spot globally, retained its status as Malaysia’s top university for music and the performing arts.

UCSI vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said the latest edition of the annual subject rankings showed that the varsity was making an impact in both academia and the industry.

“Maintaining an upward trajectory year after year is not easy and I would like to thank all UCSI staff, students and stakeholders for their continuous efforts.

“While there are many encouraging takeaways, we remain focused on evolving to meet the needs of an ever-changing economy. We don’t want our graduates to merely adapt to change – we want them to drive it.

“Moving forward, we will do more in the areas of research, international collaboration, industry partnership and thought leadership.”

The rankings, compiled by global higher education analyst QS, provide independent comparative analysis on the performance of more than 15,700 individual university programmes, taken by students at 1,594 universities which can be found in 93 locations across the world, across 54 academic disciplines and five broad faculty areas.

The faculty areas are Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

According to QS, the subject ranking is the largest ever and provides a deeper understanding of how global excellence and competitiveness in higher education is achieved.

Its senior vice-president Ben Sowter said Malaysian universities had experienced exponential growth and success, which had been reflected in QS’ Rankings portfolio in recent years.

“Malaysia now enjoys higher than average scores in all of QS’ indicators except for Academic Reputation.

“Therefore, further investment and internationalisation is needed to support the country’s next stage of development, alongside continued targeted investment in research infrastructure to ensure the international academic community recognises this progress.”

The full rankings can be found at https://www.TopUniversities.com/subject-rankings/2023.

Source: The Star

UM leads Malaysian varsities in QS World University Rankings


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Malaysia has retained its first place in the overall ranking of global Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) for the tenth consecutive year, said the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC).

In a statement, MIFC said according to the recently published Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)-Refinitiv IFDI Report 2022, Malaysia also ranked first in four sub-categories, namely financial performance, governance, awareness and sustainability.

The report also covers the industry’s growth prospects. The global Islamic finance industry has total assets worth US$4 trillion (US$1=RM4.43) in 2021. This is expected to reach US$5.9 trillion by 2026, the statement said.

According to the report, Malaysia ranked first with a total IFDI 2022 score of 113 points, ahead of Saudi Arabia in second place at 74 points, Indonesia (61 points), while Bahrain and Kuwait both shared 59 points.

The IFDI provides Islamic finance stakeholders such as governments and financial institutions a detailed analysis of the key factors driving the growth and development of the industry worldwide.

The global IFDI 2022 measures the performance of 136 countries in five categories, namely financial performance, governance, sustainability, knowledge and awareness.

“The average score for the 136 countries is nine; 38 countries scored above the average while the majority fell below nine.

“Due to the change in the IFDI methodology this year, the scores and rankings are not comparable with previous years,” said the report.

The report highlighted that Malaysia’s biggest Islamic finance ecosystem strengths are awareness, knowledge and sustainability. Saudi Arabia followed closely after Malaysia.

Indonesia showed a strong performance in knowledge and scored well in governance, it secured third place.

The other countries in the top 10 include Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and Bangladesh.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia top of the chart in global Islamic finance ranking for 10th year


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Malaysia is ranked 49 out of 165 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2022 Annual Report released by the Center for Market Education (CME) in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute.

The rating and rank refer to data on year 2020. The year before – in 2019 – Malaysia ranked 52. However, the improved ranking does not reflect a better score, but a relative deterioration in the ranking of other countries. In fact, while the overall Economic Freedom rating for Malaysia was 7.52 in 2019, it declined to 7.35 in 2020.

“When jurisdictions increase taxes and regulations, the people become less economically free, which means slower economic growth and less investment,” said Fred McMahon, Dr Michael A Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute.

Hong Kong and Singapore again top the index, continuing their streak as first and second respectively, while Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, US, Estonia, Mauritius and Ireland round out the top 10.

“The most recent comprehensive data are from 2020. Hong Kong is already showing a decline in freedom in 2020 and we expect the decline to continue going forward,” McMahon said.

The same may be recorded for Malaysia in 2021, added CME CEO Dr Carmelo Ferlito, as the country was among the strictest ones in terms of lockdowns and growing role of government control over the economy.

The report, launched in 1996, measures economic freedom — the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions — by analysing several indicators including regulation, size of government, property rights, government spending and taxation.

The year’s report, based on 2020 data (the most recent available), also captures the effect of Covid-related restrictions.

The 10 lowest-rated countries are Democratic Republic of Congo, Algeria, Republic of Congo, Iran, Libya, Argentina, Syrian Arab Republic, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Venezuela. Despotic countries such as North Korea and Cuba cannot be ranked due to lack of data.

The rankings of other major countries include Japan (12th), Canada (14th), Germany (24th), Italy (43rd), France (54th), Mexico (65th), India (90th), Russia (94th), Brazil (114th) and China (116th).

According to research in top peer-reviewed academic journals, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer lives.

For example, countries in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per-capita gross domestic product of US$48,251 (RM217,617) in 2020 compared to US$6,542 for bottom quartile countries. And poverty rates are lower. In the top quartile, 2.02% of the population experienced extreme poverty (US$1.90 a day) compared to 31.45% in the lowest quartile. Finally, life expectancy is 80.4 years in the top quartile of countries compared to 66.0 years in the bottom quartile.

“Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier and healthier lives,” McMahon said.

Malaysia scores in key components of economic freedom (from 1 to 10 where a higher value indicates a higher level of economic freedom):

– Size of government: changed to 7.12 from 7.04 in the last year’s report

– Legal system and property rights: changed to 5.88 from 5.83

– Access to sound money: changed to 8.32 from 8.41

– Freedom to trade internationally: changed to 6.97 from 7.63

– Regulation of credit, labour and business: changed to 8.47 from 8.67

“The figures show – like the general rating – a trend toward deterioration in economic freedom: in fact, despite improvements in the size of government and legal system, we observed deterioration in the access to sound money, in the freedom to trade internationally and in the regulation of credit, labour and business. We expect these figures to deteriorate further next year. At the same time, such figures indicate the road of action to put Malaysia back on track in the path toward economic freedom: we should not forget that in 1980 Malaysia ranked 22 (rather than the current 49) and in 1990 it improved to the 18th position,” explained Ferlito.

The Fraser Institute produces the annual Economic Freedom of the World report in cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 100 countries and territories. It is the world’s premier measurement of economic freedom, measuring and ranking countries in five areas — size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business.

Economic Freedom of the World measures how policies and institutions of countries support economic freedom. This year’s publication ranks 165 countries and territories. The report also updates data in earlier reports where data has been revised.

Source: The Sun Daily

Malaysia ranks 49 among 165 jurisdictions in economic freedom


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The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Langkawi International Airport (LGK) have been listed as among the world’s best airports in the latest Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey for the second quarter of 2022.

Both airports achieved a perfect score of 5.00 in the global survey by the Airports Council International (ACI), which measures overall passenger satisfaction in terms of terminal safety, facilities, services and cleanliness. 

KLIA shared the achievement with seven other airports in the over-40 million passengers per annum (mppa) category; and LGK was the only airport which scored full points in the 2.0–5.0 mppa category.

“It is definitely more challenging to continuously maintain a great passenger experience, as we welcome more and more passengers at our airports, but we will not waver in our commitment to do so.

“The most recent ASQ results is a manifestation of this commitment, not just from Malaysia Airports but the entire airport community,” Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd Managing Director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 16).

He said for KLIA, the top three compliments received through the ASQ survey were smooth processes at the touchpoints, courteous on-ground assistance and fast check-in at counters.

In July 2022, the Malaysia Airports Group registered a total of 7.8 million passenger movements — 4.8 million passenger movements at its network of local airports; and 3.0 million passengers at its Turkiye airport, the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

The group recorded 3.1 million domestic and 1.6 million international movements in Malaysia last month, an encouraging 26% increase from the preceding month.

To date, both segments have shown an upward recovery trend, with domestic and international traffic reaching 66% and 18% of pre-Covid-19 volumes respectively.

Source: Bernama

Global survey names KLIA, LGK among world’s best airports for Q2, 2022


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Malaysia has been ranked as the world’s third most competitive Global Business Services (GBS) location, behind India and China, according to an index by global consulting firm Kearney.

The firm’s 2021 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) showed that Asian economies continued to take seven spots in the top 10, with India in first place with a score of 7.09, followed by China (6.80) and Malaysia (6.22).

This index, issued every two years, tracks the contours of the global landscape across 60 countries with four major categories — financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, business environment, and digital resonance. 

A GBS location allows large multinational corporations (MNCs) or organisations to centralise their business operations and activities, such as finance, human resource, information technology (IT) and procurement in certain countries to provide shared services, said business transformation consultant Joon Teoh. 

She noted that among the MNCs that have established GBS centres in Malaysia are Shell, AstraZeneca, British American Tobacco and Bash.

“For IGOs (intergovernmental international organisations), we have the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaysia’s biggest attraction is the diversity of talent, including the languages we speak, that is able to serve different countries,” Teoh told Bernama recently in an interview conducted virtually. 

She said GBS centres serve their own people in corporations or organisations around the world.

“For example, if any of their staff, no matter where they are, have to travel overseas, their air tickets, payments and so on will all be managed by the GBS centres set in Malaysia or other countries.

“How do they (GBS centres) do that? This is where technology comes in. Because you have to make it (happen) in a digital platform for people to put in their claims or to buy their air tickets, (and) for suppliers to send the invoices, etc,” Teoh explained.

Teoh, who is also the CEO of Agos Asia, said that the Malaysian government has always emphasised the development of GBS in the country, including underlining the importance of the sector in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

She said this is because when a GBS centre is set up, it can typically range between 150 to over thousands of employees, which will not only create vast job opportunities but also help boost our country’s digitalisation process.

“The government is trying to put us (the GBS sector) in a value curve trajectory because it would be impossible for us to compete with China and India in terms of volume and talent. 

“We could only do (this) by providing high skills to meet requirements, in line with the digital transformation,” said Teoh.

That will be the country’s value proposition, where GPS centres in Malaysia are evolving into centres of excellence, led by the local teams to conduct various research and development projects, among others, including robotic process automation and analytics, she said.

According to the 12MP, in the next five years, the focus will be placed on accelerating the development of strategic and high impact industries, including electrical and electronics, global services (GS) and aerospace.

GS, which comprises principal hubs, GBS and headquarters operations, is the main contributor of foreign direct investments (FDI) in the services sector. 

Approved investments in GS by multinational companies were recorded at RM46.1 billion, constituting 51.7% of total FDI in the services sector from 2016 to 2020.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia ranks world’s third most competitive GBS location, behind India and China


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Seven Malaysian companies made it to Forbes Asia’s Best Under A Billion list this year.

In terms of net income, disposable glove manufacturer UG Healthcare Corp Ltd tops the list at US$88 million (RM392 million). It posted a revenue (sales) of US$251 million last year. Headquartered in Seremban, the company is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange and has a market value of US$102 million.

ViTrox Corp Bhd, which develops and produces three-dimensional and line-scan vision systems for semiconductor integrated circuit inspection came second with a net income of US$41 million and US$164 million in revenue. It has a market value of US$1.68 billion, the highest in the list.

Automation equipment provider for solar photovoltaic, automotive, medical and battery industries Greatech Technology Bhd is third with a US$34 million net income and US$97 million in revenue last year. It traded on the local bourse at US$1.1 billion.

Palm oil company Kim Loong Resources Bhd recorded US$33 million in net income and raked in the highest sales last year at US$410 million. Its market value last year was US$425 million.

D&O Green Technologies Bhd, which makes surface mount technology light emitting diodes for automotive manufacturers, made US$27 million in net income and US$204 million in revenue. It has a market value of US$1.13 billion.

Steel product manufacturer Tashin Holdings Bhd (net income US$15 million) and glove maker CE Technology Bhd (net income US$9 million) recorded revenue of US$94 million and US$31 million respectively last year. Tashin has a market value of US$43 million while CE Technology US$87 million.

Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion list tracks 200 from 20,000 top-performing publicly listed small and midsized companies in the Asia-Pacific region with sales above US$10 million and under US$1 billion.

“As Covid-19 restrictions ease across the Asia-Pacific and people adapt to the new normal, this year’s annual Best Under A Billion list highlights the shift to discretionary spending. The post-pandemic return to daily life has benefitted apparel makers, mall operators, restaurants, consumer electronics and entertainment companies, among others,” Forbes said.

Source: The Sun Daily

Seven M’sian firms make Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion list


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Source: The Edge Markets

Best and worst places for expats


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Malaysia has maintained its seventh position in the Digital Agility Index 2022 across the Asia-Pacific (Apac), according to a study commissioned by Workday, a global leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources.

The study revealed that 79% of organisations in the country are still lagging in digital agility, noting that most of the organisations are in the slow and tactical stages of digital agility maturity, despite the accelerated digital transformation and increased technology adoption during the pandemic.

“The study found that the lack of skills in talent acquisition and talent retention were the biggest challenges cited by organisations in Malaysia in pursuing digital transformation,“ it said in a statement yesterday.

According to the study, progress in digital agility has been uneven across the nine Apac markets surveyed, with organisations in Australia achieving the greatest progress in digital transformation efforts, taking the top spot this year.

Singapore, which ranked first in 2020, dropped to the second position, followed by New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while Indonesia stood in the eighth position, followed by Thailand.

“From a regional perspective, only 38% of Apac organisations are in the advanced stages of digital agility.

“For the 62% lagging in digital agility, technology adoption is often driven by functional requirements and business needs such as for e-commerce, safety measures and remote work during the pandemic,“ it said.

The study involved over 800 senior human resource, information technology and finance leaders from across nine markets and 15 sectors in the Asia-Pacific.

Workday president for Asia, Sandeep Sharma said with agility now a key source of competitive advantage in today’s digital-first economy, organisations supported by data-driven processes and imbued with digital skills and work cultures are best positioned to thrive.

“While there is considerable progress with more organisations making the leap to become agility leaders, the fact that the majority of organisations within the Asia Pacific are still lagging creates an opportunity to help organisations digitally accelerate,“ he said.

Conducted in association with the International Data Corp (IDC), the IDC-Workday Digital Agility Index Asia Pacific 2022 study highlights the extent to which Apac organisations have progressed in digital agility since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia maintains 7th position in Apac Digital Agility Index 2022


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Malaysia is the world’s fifth fastest-growing real-time payments market, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.9 per cent, according to ACI Worldwide’s third edition of Prime-Time for Real-Time 2022 report.

According to the report, Malaysia is exceptional in the speed with which it has implemented nationwide real-time payments and its rapid adoption by banks and non-bank participants.

The country recorded 1.1 billion real-time payments transactions in 2021, facilitating an estimated US$434 million cost savings for businesses and consumers, and unlocking US$364 million of additional economic output, equivalent to 1.11 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“Malaysia continues to accelerate the adoption of its real-time payment as well as introduce a stream of modern services, making it one of the most sophisticated real-time markets in the world.

“Malaysia’s real-time payments journey has been fast, distinctive, and sophisticated, encompassing speedy adoption built on low-value transactions, rapid evolution towards more sophisticated and value-added services, and a government determined to assist in driving adoption,” ACI Worldwide said in a statement.

ACI Worldwide partnered leading data and analytics company GlobalData, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for the report.

The report tracks real-time payments volumes and growth across 53 countries and includes an economic impact study for the first time, providing a comprehensive view of the economic benefits of real-time payments for consumers, businesses, and the broader economy across 30 countries.

The report covers the group of twenty (G20) nations, excluding Russia.

ACI Worldwide vice president and head of Asean Chee Cheng Ong said Malaysia is the perfect example for other Asean countries on how to establish, align and drive adoption of a modern real-time payments network.

“By opting to form its real-time network on ISO 20022, it has become one of the most harmonised and sophisticated real-time payment environments in the world and a perfect launchpad to provide a host of new and value-added services,” he said.

Malaysia’s real-time journey began in December 2018, with the arrival of a new real-time payment system, DuitNow, introduced by national payments network and central infrastructure provider, PayNet.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia 5th fastest growing real-time payment market globally


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Malaysia came on top among 15 global markets for the uplift in users’ average download speeds ratio using 5G over 4G with a staggering 25.7 fold increase, a United Kingdom-based mobile analytics company said.

Opensignal, in its latest definitive analysis of 5G worldwide leaders, said the number of 5G users in Malaysia, however, is small and the ratio would likely decrease as 5G adoption increases.

“It’s important to understand the different state of 5G rollouts across markets, 5G is still very new in Malaysia with relatively few 5G users,” it said.

To date, it said only two operators have signed up to deploy 5G on the single wholesale network.

“The real-world test for Malaysia will happen in the coming months when multiple Malaysian operators market 5G and we see real mass market uptake,” it said.

It said Malaysia’s 5G wholesale network only covers the access network, essentially the cell towers, and Malaysia’s operators continue to use their existing core networks and peering to enable the complete experience for users.

Nevertheless, it said Malaysia jumps in with high rankings in all three 5G speed categories — download speed, peak download speed and upload speed, as well as 5G games experience under the experience category.

In the experience category, it said Malaysia featured in the table highlighting the importance of end-to-end experience for video streaming, multiplayer mobile gaming and voice communications.

Meanwhile, Opensignal said South Korea held onto the global 5G speed crown ranking top for 5G download speed with six markets having surpassed the 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) mark compared to three in March 2022.

“South Korea, Sweden and the UAE have been joined by Bulgaria, Norway and Malaysia although Malaysia is something of an anomaly because of the limited 5G uptake to date and the 5G experience there will likely drop dramatically as more users and more operators embrace 5G,” it added.

Source: Bernama

Opensignal: Malaysia on top among 15 global markets in 5G vs 4G average download speed ratio


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