KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's productivity growth rebounded to 1.8 per cent or RM90,697 per person in 2021 from -5.3 per cent or RM89,106 per person in 2020, said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong.
He said 2021 showed a tremendous awakening from the slow economic bumps encountered due to the impact of the pandemic even though the country had yet to return to its pre-pandemic productivity performance then.
The overall growth of sub-sectors under the nine Productivity Nexus rebounded to the average of 3.3 per cent in 2021 from -5.1 per cent in 2020, he said.
"All the sub-sectors registered a positive growth except for retail and food & beverages, tourism, and professional services.
"The electrical and electronics (E&E) sub-sector registered the highest annual productivity growth of 12 per cent due to the increasing global demand for E&E components," he said in his opening remarks at the launch of the Productivity Report 2022 and Subsector Productivity Reports in conjuction with Malaysia Productivity Corporation's (MPC) Productivity Conference themed "Driving Productivity of the Nation" today.
Lim noted that the chemicals and chemical products, and machinery and equipment sub-sectors recorded a tremendous increase in productivity growth at 10.3 per cent and 9.0 per cent, respectively.
"This is a driving factors for us to boost the nation’s productivity, targeted growth at an average of 3.6 per cent annually, from 2021 to 2025 as stated in the 12th Malaysia Plan.
"(The year) 2022 began with a promise of higher productivity, which encourages more potential investors, traders, and businesses to operate in Malaysia. Hence, we are on the right track to economic recovery,” he said.
Lim said the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projected that Malaysia’s economy would grow at 6.1 per cent this year, based on the expected sales of electrical goods and health gears, boosting Malaysia’s exports and domestic demands, encouraged by benefits gained from the government’s support.
He said the projection is aligned with the Ministry of Finance's (MoF) forecast that the country’s gross domectic product (GDP) would grow between 5.5 and 6.5 per cent in 2022.
"The projection is based on potential improvement in global trade, balanced commodity prices, more vibrant economic activities, and improvement in consumer and business sentiments.
"The transition into the endemic phase and relaxations of the COVID-19 standard operating procedures further enhance the positivism. Alongside, MPC is optimistic that the country will achieve the target of 3.6 per cent productivity growth this year,” he said.
Lim added that to achieve higher productivity growth, the country needs to aim on four key productivity drivers, namely talent, technology, business environment, and subsidy.