Malaysia is on track to create three million jobs by 2020 in a bid to cement the country’s reputation as a high-income nation within the next six years. The director for education and strategic reform initiative (SRI) human capital development Tengku Azian Shahriman stated that some 438,800 net new jobs were created last year, surpassing the initial target of 330,000. Azian added that "The government has set an average target of 333,000 new net jobs to be created each year in the run up to 2020, but so far we’ve been seeing numbers exceeding the average target".
According to the public services commission chairman Tan Sri Mahmood Adam, more than 100,000 job vacancies are set to become available within government departments and agencies this year.
Of the 13.1 million that make up the active labour force, less than 400,000 or about 3.1% are unemployed. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), any country with an unemployment rate of less than 4% is regarded as having attained full employment.
The Economic Transformation Plan Key to Malaysia’s Growth
The Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak underlined that since its creation; the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) had generated RM220 billion from investments. As a result of investments from 195 projects in National Economic Key Areas, 435,000 jobs had been created and contributed RM144 billion to Malaysia's gross national income (GNI).
The ETP was launched in 2010 as part of Malaysia's National Transformation Plan in a bid to reach the jobs target the prime minister set by attracting investment into 12 key areas.
These areas include oil and gas, tourism, financial services, education, healthcare and business services. Such sectors have shown in the past to generate a significant contribution to Malaysia's GNI.
Malaysia to Attract Foreign Investment
The Asian country is also trying to increase its competitiveness on the global stage through implementing six Strategic Reform Initiatives. These are made up of policies that aim to create a business-friendly, efficient and competitive environment in Malaysia and help local companies to attract foreign investment.
The six initiatives cover public finance reform, public service delivery, human capital development, the role of government in business, competition, standards and liberalization and narrowing disparities.
The World Bank ranked Malaysia at the 12th position for ease of doing business in its Doing Business 2013 report. This was compared to 18th in 2012. Malaysia also led the report’s ranking for ease of access to credit and was ranked fourth for investor protection.
On the whole, Malaysia made a significant step forward to create a promising economy with an exponential job market growth and a robust capital market development. Malaysia’s global development and competitiveness make the country a lucrative destination for Western jobseekers, entrepreneurs and investors to advance their career and profit prospects.