The aim is to break the Southeast Asian nation out of the dreaded "middle income" trap by focusing on high value investments and reducing its dependence on lower-end manufacturing that has been increasingly dominated by China.
Following are details on the $444 billion programme's initiatives and the companies that are in line to benefit from the investments as major projects begin to emerge from the pipeline.
-National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). These refer to 12 priority sectors for investment, ranging from oil and gas to healthcare and communications, chosen for their high potential as engines of growth. The government has chosen 131 "Entry Point Projects" for investment within the NKEAs.
-Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs). The six SRIs are focused in areas where Malaysia can raise its efficiency and competitiveness, including public finances, public service delivery and the government's role in business. As part of the ETP, the government is divesting its stakes in 33 companies through initial public offerings or sales.
PERFORMANCE SO FAR
-Private sector investment rose to 94 billion ringgit in 2011, up 19 percent from the previous year and 13 percent above the ETP's target of 83 billion.
-72 of the 131 EPPs had been started as of March.
-313,741 new jobs were "committed" in the first 16 months of the ETP, falling short of the goal of 330,000.
-Malaysia rose to 18th place from 23rd in the World Bank's annual Doing Business reports for 2012.
-The government says it collected an additional 25.3 billion ringgit in 2011 through increased efficiency.
-The government divested its stakes in 11 companies last year and plans to withdraw from 13 more this year through initial public offerings or sales.
COMPANIES POSITIONED TO BENEFIT
- Malaysia's construction MMC Corp Bhd (>> MMC Corporation Berhad) and Gamuda Bhd (>> Gamuda Berhad) consortium on March 20 won the tunneling package for the country's mass railway project, one of the largest ETP projects.
- Plans to improve environmental management in Kuala Lumpur, which includes sewerage, solid waste management and river cleaning, could benefit Cypark Resources Bhd (>> Cypark Resources Berhad) and Malaysia Resources Corp Bhd (>> Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad), which are both involved in environmental services, according to OSK Research.
- The ETP aims to consolidate Malaysia's oil and gas (O&G) offshore fabricators to become more competitive regionally. OSK said this could benefit Kencana Petroleum Bhd (>> Kencana Petroleum Berhad) and Malaysia Marine of Heavy Engineering Bhd (>> Malaysia Marine & Heavy Engnrg Sdn Bhd), the remaining two listed larger fabricators. Offshore services firms such as Bumi Armada (>> Bumi Armada Bhd) are seen gaining from investments in the energy sector.
- The ETP seeks to promote Malaysia as a destination for electronic and electrical factories. This could benefit Kelington Group Bhd (>> Kelington Group Bhd), which is involved in supplying industrial gas systems to such plants.
- The government plans to increase aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul activities (MRO) in Malaysia. National airline Malaysian Airline System Bhd (>> Malaysian Airline System Berhad) could benefit as its engineering arm is a leading provider of MRO in Malaysia.
- Under the ETP, the government plans to increase the number of communication data centers. This could benefit Time dotCom Bhd (>> TIME DOTCOM BERHAD), according to OSK.
(Reporting by Stuart Grudgings and Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Richard Borsuk)