Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (6th from left) and Global Federation Of Competitiveness Council (GFCC) president and chief executive officer Deborah Wince-Smith (6th from right) with delegates at the Global Innovation Summit 2017 launch. NSTP Pix by HAFIZ SOHAIMI.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's emergence as the top nation among the ‘Mighty Five’, set to be the most competitive manufacturing countries by 2020, has further amplified its transition towards a sustainable future.

Global Federation Of Competitiveness Council (GFCC) president and chief executive officer Deborah Wince-Smith said this assessment was based on the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index Ranking by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and the United States Council on Competitiveness.

She said the ranking makes Malaysia a major player and thus, together with the rest of the ‘Mighty Five’ nations which include India, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, relevant to issues concerning sustainable production, consumption and work.

“There is a huge base to build on here. There are also a very strong engineering capabilities, highly educated people and commitment from the government to build the right policies and framework in innovation to drive it into the future.

"We are proud that Malaysia is one of our members as this country exemplifies so much of what is important for the future," she said, while praising the country's innovation strategy as significant.

Wince-Smith was speaking at a press conference after the launch of the Global Innovation Summit 2017 (GIS2017).

The event was officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Nancy, in her opening speech, noted that Malaysia was also named the region's top emerging economy by the World Economic Forum in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018.

Nancy said Malaysia improved on its placing in the index, from 25th last year to its present 23rd placing out of 137 countries.

This, she said, was proof that Malaysia is not far behind any other developed countries.

“I believe Malaysia is on the right track to move to a new playing field of joining the likes of other fully developed nations.

“The government had an agenda for economic reforms, we took the tough path but a responsible one. It is clear today, aided by the hard work of millions of Malaysians, that the plan has worked and is continuing to work.

“We want to ensure that Malaysia has a competitive edge, and is a knowledge-based society that is prosperous and peaceful. We must lay concrete foundations to work towards these goals in ways that are sustainable, inclusive and equitable,” she said.

Kuala Lumpur is the host to this year's four-day summit, which begins today and ends on Friday.

Themed ‘The Sustainable Future of Production, Consumption and Work’, the summit is held annually to convene global leaders of business, governments, academia, civil society and think tanks to assess the state of competitiveness and enhance innovation capacity worldwide.

It is also the first time the summit is being held in Southeast Asia, with previous summits hosted in Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

GIS2017 is jointly organised by the GFCC and Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT).

The council, which Malaysia is also a part of, is a global network of over 50 organisations that have come together around a set of shared principles to enhance regional, national and global prosperity.

MIGHT joint-chairman Prof Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid said the council aspiration coincides with Malaysia aim to place the nation among the top 20 countries in the world.

“Our leaders are very outward looking and welcome views from the outside world.

"Malaysia is one of the many emerging economic nations looking to fine tune the mix of policies and efforts that will equip our society to compete in the global marketplace and meet immense environmental challenges ahead,” he said.