Cities, People & the Economy: A Study on Positioning Penang

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By Homi Kharas, Albert Zeufack and Hamdan Majeed Khazanah Nasional Berhad and the World Bank, 2010. 96 pages.

PENANG HAS ALWAYS had to depend on its people for economic survival. For the last 40 years, this has been achieved through a development model focused on medium-intensity manufacturing and tourism. A core group of multinational corporations, significant investment and visitor arrivals, and consistent economic growth in Penang signalled the strength of this framework, and the state came to enjoy per capita income of almost 50% above the national average.

However, over the past decade, new trends in manufacturing and tourism, more intense competition from countries in the region and beyond, stagnating investment levels and high levels of emigration have called for a re-examination of the status quo.


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