KUALA LUMPUR, 12 December 2018 – The World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa concluded an official four-day visit to Malaysia on Monday. During her visit, she highlighted the progress achieved by Malaysia as an upper middle-income country; and identified ways in which the World Bank could strengthen its support of Malaysia’s efforts to reach high-income and developed country status.
Over the four days, she met Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Finance Minister YB Lim Guan Eng and Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus. They discussed the close partnership between the country and the World Bank Group, and how the World Bank Group’s Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Kuala Lumpur can further strengthen this partnership.
"Malaysia is well on its way to cross the threshold into high-income and developed country status over the coming years. Its economy is well-diversified and rests on solid foundations; and is primed to take the country to the next level. We welcome the Government’s efforts, as part of this process, to strengthen institutions, develop human capital and protect the vulnerable in society. The World Bank Group stands ready to support Malaysia during this important transition process,” stated Ms. Kwakwa.
The World Bank senior official and her delegation also met Malaysia’s Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah with whom they exchanged ideas about development trends in Malaysia and the wider region. These trends include the rising significance of the digital economy and the importance of education and skills development for future competitiveness in all countries of the region.
As part of her program, Vice President Kwakwa visited Penang and met with local state, civil society and private sector representatives to discuss the state’s 2035 development vision. During the brief visit, she met with Think City to discuss urban regeneration efforts and toured some of Penang’s cultural heritage sites. Back in Kuala Lumpur, she also engaged with 40 young Malaysian leaders from the Perdana Fellows program who are embedded in different Ministries and Government institutions.
In time with Ms. Kwakwa’s visit, the World Bank also launched from Kuala Lumpur its 2018 Regional Flagship Report, A Resurgent Asia – Navigating a Changing World. The report is co-authored by the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific Mr. Sudhir Shetty and highlights the rising development challenges facing countries in East Asia and how they can navigate these challenges in the years ahead.
Ms. Kwakwa was joined by Ms. Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand and Mr. Firas Raad, Country Manager for Malaysia.