Malaysia : the lucky man of Asia?
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- Working papers (SNF) 
Malaysia has been labelled the Lucky Man of Asia due to its wealth of natural resources, such as tin, rubber, palm oil, pepper, tropical timber, petroleum and a very fertile soil. There is no doubt that this richness has helped Malaysia to achieve impressive growth rates over the last decades, but history has taught us that large endowments of natural resources by far are sufficient to generate development. Since the early 1970s Malaysia has led a relatively successful racial integration policy, and created a business friendly and relatively stable investment climate. For better or worse, Malaysia has also been successful in attracting foreign direct investments to export processing zones. Nonetheless, the high growth rates would hardly have been possible in absence of the spread of industry from Japan and the NIEs. In this sense Malaysia has been lucky, but that luck has been facilitated by timely trade liberalization, relatively prudent macro economic policy, and good social and physical infrastructures.