Malaysia’s 2020 vision

Posted Feb. 23, 2007

Malaysia, a nation of 25 million people that achieved independence in 1957, remains focused on its ambitious economic plan, Vision 2020. Developed in 1991, the plan represents Malaysia’s goal to attain developed nation status, with full industrialization and higher incomes, by the year 2020. This is a vision that the current government is embracing, but not without acknowledging that many challenges face the nation in realizing the dream of advanced social and academic status in the next 14 years.

“In 1991, we set a goal to achieve developed nation status by 2020 and that vision remains our objective,” said Prime Minister Abdullah Badawa in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal. “I liken our journey toward 2020 to ascending a mountain. The first half of the climb to the base camp is challenging, but the real test lies in scaling the peak.”

In 2006, the government announced the National Mission, a policy and implementation framework that outlines the country’s priorities for the next 15 years. The National Mission describes the need to pursue policies and programs that strengthen its ability to achieve Vision 2020.

To reach the country’s goals and objectives from its national development plans, the mission identifies five key factors for Malaysia:

  • To shift Malaysia’s economy up the value chain. To be competitive in the global marketplace, Malaysia must capitalize on identified niches in manufacturing, services, and agriculture.
  • To raise the country’s capacity for knowledge, creativity, and innovation and nurture “first-class mentality.” The plan contains funding for improving the quality of education and training to increase innovation and human capital development.
  • To address persistent socioeconomic inequalities. The approach to addressing these inequalities will focus on capacity building and raising competitiveness, in part by reviewing the effectiveness of past policies and programs. One of the key priorities will be an overall reduction of poverty in the country with specific programs and efforts to improve income distribution.
  • To improve the standard and sustainability of quality of life. The plan outlines a desire to improve the quality and supply of basic services for Malaysia’s citizens.
  • To strengthen the institutional and implementation capacity of the country. To achieve the National Mission, effective administrative and implementation tools for delivering polices and projects must in place.

The Ninth Malaysia plan, a template for charting the nation’s development agenda for the first five years of the National Mission, aims at translating the key factors into programs and results through 2010.

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