Malaysia Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) – Propelling Malaysia Towards Becoming A High-income Developed Nation

The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) is a comprehensive effort that will transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020. It will lift Malaysia’s gross national income (GNI) per capita from USD6,700 or RM23,700 in 2009 to more than USD15,000 or RM48,000 in 2020, propelling the nation to the level of other high-income nations. This GNI growth of 6 percent per annum will allow us to achieve the targets set under Vision 2020.

Successful implementation of the ETP will see Malaysia’s economy undergo significant changes to resemble other developed nations. We will continue our shift towards a service-based economy, with the services sector contribution growing from 58 percent to 65 percent in the same period. More than 3.3 million new jobs will be created by 2020, spread across the country in urban and rural areas. The nature of these new jobs will result in a shift towards middle and high-income salary brackets. Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley will be transformed into a world-class city. Finally, growth will be achieved in a sustainable manner, without cost to future generations, through initiatives such as building alternative energy generation capacity and conserving our environment to promote eco-tourism.

How is ETP different from past attempts to grow the economy?

A bold new approach has been taken to develop the ETP. It is the first time that any effort of this kind has been undertaken in the history of Malaysia, or of any other developed nation.

The programme provides strong focus on a few key growth engines: the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). These NKEAs are expected to make substantial contributions to Malaysia’s economic performance, and they will receive prioritised public investment and policy support. The ETP will be led by the private sector; the Government will primarily play the role of a facilitator. Most of the funding will come from the private sector (92 percent) with public sector investment being used as a catalyst to spark private sector participation.

The ETP presents a departure from norms because it is focused on actions—not on theoretical principles and ideas. We have identified 131 entry point projects (EPPs) that concretely outline actions required to grow the economy. The EPPs and other business opportunities identified under each NKEA are anchored to how much they contribute to GNI; they were selected based on rigorous economic and financial analysis. Any public spending will be allocated on the basis of maximising GNI per ringgit of public expenditure. Finally, the ETP was designed to be rigorous and transparent, with a new ETP Unit under PEMANDU (Performance Management and Delivery Unit within the Prime Minister’s Department) being tasked to monitor and report progress to Government leaders, the business community and the rakyat.

ETP is Co-created by the Private and Public Sectors

From its inception, the private sector and the business community have been involved in the ETP.

In May 2010, a Thousand Person Workshop was run to help identify the 12 NKEAs. The private sector continued to play a large role, when the labs began in June, with 500 of the best minds from the private sector (350 persons from 200 different companies) and the Government (150 persons from 60 different public institutions, ministries and agencies) coming together to develop plans for the 12 NKEAs.

The lab ideas and the plans that were developed were syndicated extensively throughout the eight-week lab period, with more than 600 syndication meetings with ministries, agencies, multi-national corporations, local corporations and non-governmental organisations.

Subsequent to the labs, Open Days were conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Sarawak, where 5,500 visitors (business community, multinational corporations, rakyat and media) visited NKEA booths and provided further input. The result of this process is a clear roadmap for Malaysia to become a high-income nation. In launching the ETP, we affirm that the EPPs listed in this roadmap are just the start, and through their execution we will learn and adapt the programme to ensure that we reach our aspirations.

Information above was sourced from