The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation
Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Malaysia is actively engaged in economic and political reform to achieve high-income nation status by 2020. We are strengthening the business environment, providing opportunities for underprivileged girls, improving security in vulnerable regions, bolstering Malaysia’s international development cooperation, enhancing the country’s electoral integrity and public accountability, and engaging young Malaysians on politics, current issues, and civic and social involvement. Read country overview.

Malaysia Business Environment Index 2012

On May 8, 2012, The Asia Foundation released findings from its first Malaysia Business Environment Index, the only diagnostic tool designed to measure business-friendliness of local governments in the country. Explore rankings on the interactive data visualization site:

The above graphic displays the overall district scores of the Business Environment Index (BEI). For a more comprehensive analysis of the data, visit "Business Environment Index: Malaysia," our interactive data visualization project.


New Index to help steer Malaysia's local business growth

Real GDP growth in Malaysia has slowed over the past decade, and domestic investment, measured as a percentage of GDP, has also decreased. These trends raise doubts about whether Malaysia can attain its goal of reaching developed nation status by 2020. In 2010, the Malaysian government launched plans to develop small- and medium-sized enterprises as powerful engines of growth. In 2012, The Asia Foundation, along with Monash University and RAM Holdings, conducted Malaysia's first-ever Business Environment Index (BEI), a tool that ranks the performance of 11 districts and municipalities across six states using indicators such as entry and regulatory costs, informal charges, crime and security, and land access—all critical to a healthy business environment. (The Foundation employs similar tools in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.) We surveyed 635 business owners face-to-face, and the BEI reveals that entry and regulatory costs are well-managed across the areas surveyed, but that improvements can be made in infrastructure. Crime and security, informal charges, and transparency registered as the areas of most concern to these small- and medium-sized business owners. As part of our broad goal to help achieve inclusive economic development, we are currently planning the next round of the survey, which will be expanded nationwide.

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