Malaysia Unveils $54 Billion Development Blueprint

Malaysia on March 31 unveiled a five-year development plan worth $54 billion aimed at and spurring economic growth and tackling poverty.

At the midway point on Malaysia's path to achieving developed nation status by 2020, it targets economic growth of 6% over the next five years, and 6.5% from 2011 to 2020.

The plan will try to harness the private sector as an engine for growth, by encouraging corporations to finance and manage infrastructure projects which will be leased back to the government. Analysts welcomed the new direction, saying the spending initiatives in the new plan were better targeted but that the government would be hard-pressed to achieve its goals for economic expansion.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also emphasized establishing good governance in Malaysia, which faces problems of corruption, particularly in the construction sector.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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