Having transformed living standards in less than a generation, the transition will mark a major milestone in the country’s development, the bank said in a report published on Tuesday.
According to the bank, over the past three decades, only 19 countries with populations of over one million have made the leap to the top tier.
It added that 55 countries, Malaysia inclusive, stuck in the so-called “middle income trap.’’
Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was just over 11,400 dollars, according to World Bank estimates, making it South-East Asia’s third-highest after tiny neighbours – Singapore, a finance hub – and Brunei, an oil-rich sultanate.
Malaysia’s progress stalled last year as its GDP shrank by 5.6 per cent, the most since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.
The World Bank said that Malaysia was hit by a “triple shock’’ of pandemic, lockdowns and global recession.
Speaking at the report launch, Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, said that Malaysia’s economy should “improve” in 2021 as restrictions were being lifted. (dpa/NAN)
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