The New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030 aims to rejuvenate the manufacturing sector and ensure national resilience in the face of growing challenges and megatrends.
Manufacturing is a key engine of growth for Malaysia, but it has faced limitations, primarily due to: (1) Malaysia’s economic complexity lags advanced economies, and (2) a decline in labor productivity growth since 1975, driven by heavy reliance on low-skilled workers and a lack of high-skilled job opportunities.
Therefore, NIMP 2030 introduces a mission-based approach to transform Malaysian industries. The plan focuses on four key missions: (1) Advancing economic complexity, (2) Promoting technological advancement; (3) Pursuing Net Zero goals; and (4) Ensuring economic security and inclusivity.
NIMP 2030 aims to achieve high-impact growth in Malaysia through effective execution, transparency, and accountability, with target outcomes across six key pillars: (1) increasing economic complexity; (2) creating high-value job opportunities; (3) extending domestic linkages; (4) developing new and existing clusters across all states in Malaysia; (5) improving inclusivity, especially the MSMEs; and (6) enhancing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) practices.
The Ekonomi Madani framework serves as the fundamental principle guiding policy development in Malaysia, including the NIMP 2030.
Given our mixed track record in executing national plans, there was a need for a national economic narrative to establish a vision towards the restructuring of the Malaysian economy. Consequently, the country requires a framework for institutional reforms and a return to fundamental principles, to safeguard basic rights and attain desired outcomes.
But what is the meaning of “Ekonomi Madani”? It signifies the return to the founding principles of Malaysia, emphasizing social justice, liberty, and unity, all aimed at ensuring the sustainability of a prosperous life for the Rakyat.
Ekonomi Madani aims to restructure the economy, position Malaysia as a leader among Asian economies, and enhance social protection for all. In essence, Ekonomi Madani centers on empowering Malaysians and other relevant stakeholders to promote sustainable economic growth, reflecting an “All-of-Malaysia” approach.
Ekonomi Madani emphasizes the need to restructure and elevate the Malaysian economy through increased regionalization and competitiveness.
Malaysia has faced structural issues in its economy since the 1970s. As it expanded and commercialized its commodity-based economy, which was primarily focused on fossil fuels and plantations, Malaysia has struggled to increase the complexity and diversity of its economy, resulting in stagnant growth today.
Thus, our production function needs structural changes. Traditional approaches no longer work for the growth we seek. The growth trajectory of Malaysia has decelerated, and the low wage regime has become a constraint on economic competitiveness and production structure.
Corporates, especially MSMEs, must undergo transformation to develop capabilities and tap into new markets. Corporate growth in Malaysia has been declining due to domesticated demand. Therefore, transformation is necessary for these corporates to expand their outreach globally and become regionally competitive.
Notwithstanding, the social sector in Malaysia must not be neglected as it plays a pivotal role in improving the social safety net, advancing social mobility, and fostering inclusive development.
Household wellbeing is integral to achieving a holistic development agenda that extends beyond economic indicators. Social protection is a crucial component of the country’s overall development strategy.
Addressing the issue of female labor force participation is essential. Currently, 48% of women work in the informal sector, highlighting the need for the formalization of safe and high-quality childcare centers. Furthermore, female graduates make up 54% of the unemployment rate in Malaysia, underscoring the importance of supportive policies in increasing female participation in the labor force.
The Malaysian government places a strong emphasis on talent development, with a focus on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and STEM programs. These initiatives aim to equip the workforce with industry-relevant skills, catering to both formal and informal employment sectors.
Building social capital through quality education and healthcare is essential for bridging social gaps and fostering trust within society.