BY RAM ANAND
Published: 15 May 2015 7:00 AM
Malaysia’s ranking on inclusiveness in Asia-Pacific in a United Nations survey was respectable, with the exception of the economic front. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 15, 2015.Malaysia’s ranking on inclusiveness in Asia-Pacific in a United Nations survey was respectable, with the exception of the economic front. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 15, 2015.Malaysia has been ranked fourth in overall growth inclusiveness among 16 Asia-Pacific countries in the latest United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP) survey for the region, released yesterday.
The country scored 0.78 for growth inclusiveness between 2000 and 2012, an improvement from the 0.72 it scored between 1990 and 1999.
Kazakhstan, Russia, and Thailand were the top three countries ranked in the report, and Malaysia was trailed by Sri Lanka, Iran and China.
Nepal, India, Cambodia and Pakistan ranked the worst on the growth inclusiveness chart.
Growth inclusiveness is a combination of ranks for economic inclusiveness, social inclusiveness and environmental inclusiveness.
The barometers used to measure these areas are based on data made available for increasing the average standard of living, reducing inequality, reducing extreme poverty, and expanding and broadening opportunities.
Of the three areas, Malaysia’s worst performance was in the area of economic inclusiveness, where it ranked 12th out of 22 countries, although its scorecard increased to 0.74 (2000-2012) compared with 0.69 (1990-1999).
Economic inclusiveness is measured by the poverty headcount ratio, Gini coefficient for income distribution, ratio of income shares between the highest and lowest quintile, unemployment rate, and female-to-male labour force participation.
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Thailand topped economic inclusiveness in the region while Turkey, Pakistan and Iran fared the worst.
Social inclusiveness is measured using gender parity at the secondary school level, gross secondary school enrolment, average years of schooling, percentage of live births attended by skilled health staff and mortality rate of children under five years old.
Malaysia’s social opportunities score also increased to 0.84 for the 2000-2012 period compared with 0.76 in the 1990-1999 period, but it ranked seventh in the region – behind Russia, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Kazakhstan, Brunei and Fiji.
Environmental inclusiveness is measured according to percentage with access to sanitation facilities, percentage with access to improved water sources, greenhouse gas emissions, percentage of change in forest area, and the use of fossil-fuel energy.
Malaysia fared well in terms of environmental opportunities, ranking second between 2000 and 2012 with a score of 0.75 out of 25 countries. South Korea ranked first.
Not all countries’ data were made available for all the three inclusiveness categories, leaving Malaysia in a pool of 16 countries with all available data.
The overall overview for Malaysia in the report was fairly positive, saying that the overall outlook for Malaysia “remains bright”.
“Investment growth is expected to remain resilient as major public infrastructure projects begin,” it said. – May 15, 2015.