Population and the Economy

As Malaysia progressed rapidly over the past several decades, so has the size of its economy. Malaysia’s GDP has grown steadily from about RM53.0 billion in 1980 to RM1.13 trillion in 2015. With a population size of 31.9 million in 2016, Malaysia’s domestic economy is still considered small from a global standpoint and similarly, compared to many of its ASEAN neighbours, thus strictly from an academic viewpoint it should be quite vulnerable to global economic crises. However, despite this being the case, Malaysia has been relatively resilient in the face of global crises, such as the 1997-98 financial crisis and the 2008-09 subprime mortgage crisis. While most of this can be attested to good governance, part of this is also attributed to Malaysia’s continual investment into building the synergy between the country’s population and the economy, in terms of upskilling its workforce and ensuring economic opportunity for all over the past decades.

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