2011/05/18

Malaysia unveils plan to build 'green economy'

Malaysia unveils plan to build 'green economy'

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18, 2011 (AFP) - Malaysia is launching an ambitious
plan to build a "green economy" with the help of an advisory council
that includes economist Jeffrey Sachs and the UN climate change head.

The initiative is part of economic reforms instituted by Prime
Minister Najib Razak since taking power two years ago, aimed at
pushing the Southeast Asian nation towards developed-nation status by
2020.

His administration has already promised major infrastructure projects
and financial market liberalisation to attract foreign investment and
boost growth, but critics say the results have been limited.

Najib on Tuesday convened the first meeting of an eminent 42-member
Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council in New York to help it
achieve ambitions of becoming a science and technology innovation
destination.

Malaysia's vision of a "green economy" would see it moving beyond its
status as a manufacturing hub, and establish "low carbon emissions,
highly efficient use of resources, and a healthy, well-educated
populace."

"Malaysia's ambitious goal is to simultaneously reduce poverty and
achieve a green economy," Najib said in a statement from New York.

"We see science and technology innovation as key to achieving that
goal, guided by the advice and active support of some of the world's
most distinguished entrepreneurial, scientific and economic experts."

"These experts will liaise and work actively with key Malaysian
agencies and institutions to develop 'quick wins' in the palm oil
industry, in the creation of a smart city and smart village, and in
education."

As well as Sachs and Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the UN's
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the panel also includes
media tycoon Steve Forbes and two Nobel laureates.