Malaysia's former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said on Sunday that Egypt could achieve great economic renaissance over a short period because of its vast natural and human resources which distinguish it from Malaysia at the time when the latter started its developmental experience.
Mahathir Mohamad expressed his gratitude to the Freedom and Justice Party for inviting him to speak about the Malaysian experience in achieving renaissance and development.
During a one-day conference held in one of Cairo's hotels under the title "Renaissance experiences around the world: Malaysia as a case study", Mahathir asserted that "although Malaysia is a small state with a non-homogeneous population of no more than six million, including Muslims, Chinese, Buddhists and Hindu citizens, everyone participated in the country's revolution and policies; they stayed away from political differences because they benefited from the dividend of development."
"We put in place a development plan with the goal of lifting our country's economy. We formed an alliance between the key political parties for the political process, and the first thing we did was eliminate the problem of unemployment and look at post industrial manufacturing," he added.
He stressed that the new economic policies that Malaysia had adopted began to create new job opportunities, work licenses and training opportunities for very small businesses. "With the rise of industrial development rates, we succeeded in creating jobs and job opportunities for the youth. And whereas once Malaysia had exported 80 per cent of its raw material and put only 20 per cent into manufacturing, it now exports fully manufactured materials, and its exports of raw material don't exceed 10 per cent of all its exports."