Malaysia Celebrates 60th Independence Anniversary Today - My FrontPager

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Malaysia Celebrates 60th Independence Anniversary Today

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Today, August 31, Malaysia will be celebrating its 60th anniversary as an independent country. Malaysia’s first Prime Minister (now late) Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj read the proclamation of independence on 31 August 1957.

Though Malaysia got independence three years before Nigeria, the two countries, both former British colonies, were on the same level of development in the 1960s, relying heavily on agriculture as their economic mainstay.
But while Nigeria abandoned agriculture during oil boom era, Malaysia had been a major supplier of primary products to the industrialized countries.
In its 60 years of independence, Malaysia has transformed from a poverty-stricken country into a modern and progressive economic growth today.
The country boasts of stable economy, thanks to its success in export-oriented manufacturing industries such as textiles, electrical and electronic goods, rubber products, tin, palm oil, timber among others.
According to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, Malaysia is “continuing its upward trend”. The report ranked Malaysia 25th among 138 economies, while World Bank positioned Malaysia as the 23rd easiest place to do business out of 190 economies in 2017.
“This ranking is an endorsement of the progress the government has made in enhancing efficiency and competitiveness through the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme,” said Yunus Ibrahim, Charge D’Affairs, Malaysian High Commission in Abuja.
National Transformation 2050 (TN50)
Malaysia continues its economic growth, aspiring towards becoming an advanced economy and inclusive nation. 
The government in 2010 launched two programmes - the Government and Economic transformation programmes GTP and ETP, and these were central to the country’s development in recent time. The effort continues with the National Transformation 2050 plan (TN50).
TN50 is a new 30-year transformation plan aims to transform Malaysia to becoming a top 20 country in the world by the year 2050. Its implementation is based on real goals and targets for 30 years formulated in preparation phases of 3 years, starting from this year until 2019.
Bilateral Relations
Malaysia and Nigeria enjoy warm and cordial bilateral cooperation since establishment in 1965. Both countries extend their relations in multinational fora through global organisations such as the United Nations (UN), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Developing-8 (D-8), Non-Aligned Movement and Commonwealth.
“These relations are further strengthened by the close relations particularly in the framework of South-South Cooperation,” Ibrahim said.
Trade ties
Economic cooperation has been one of the major areas in Malaysia-Nigeria bilateral ties. In 2015, Malaysia’s total trade with Nigeria was its second largest among African countries behind South Africa, according to official figures from the country’s high commission in Abuja.
“In 2016, Nigeria emerged as the largest export destination in Africa for Malaysian products, surpassing South Africa. Meanwhile, in terms of import, Nigeria was the sixth source of imports for Malaysia among African countries, after South Africa, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania and Egypt,” it said.
The total trade value between Malaysia and Nigeria increased to $0.80bn in January to November 2016, from $0.68bn for the same period in 2015, an increase of 14.0%.
“In terms of imports from Nigeria to Malaysia for the same period in 2016, there was an increase of 5.7 percent to $92.8m as compared to 2015. Major import item into Malaysia remained Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and crude natural rubber,” the figures said.
Malaysia has become one of the top tertiary education destinations for Nigerians, who are now the largest source of African students in that country. According to official figures, there are currently about 15,000 Nigerian students studying at various institutions of higher learning in Malaysia.
As the Nigerian government moves towards improving its dwindling economy with the launch of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERPG), it can borrow a leaf from Malaysia in its implementation.
“Over the decades, we have actually designed and implemented policies in a much organised way and targeted towards achieving results,” the country’s immediate-former high commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Datuk Lim Juay Jin, said.

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