Globalisation and Economic Development: Malaysia's Experience
The economic development of Malaysia has been strongly driven and shaped by globalisation, from the pre-colonial to the post-independence period. The country has harnessed trade, foreign capital, and foreign labour to grow and has transformed its economy from one that was highly dependent on primary commodities (tin and rubber) into one driven by manufactured exports. The impact of globalisation on the Malaysian economy has changed through the various phases of its development experience. The early phases of the country’s engagement with globalisation reduced poverty and inequality. In later stages, excessive dependence on low-skilled foreign labour, although beneficial initially, may have compromised the competitiveness of the economy. Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society has also posed considerable challenges in the balancing of domestic needs and benefits with greater engagement with globalisation. The openness of the Malaysian economy has also made it vulnerable to global economic shocks.