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Malaysia seeks Chinese fillip to reach high-income status by 2020

Alibaba, Huawei move in for e-commerce project

Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun, left, and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak launch the DFTZ e-commerce platform on Nov. 3.

KUALA LUMPUR -- The clock is ticking on Malaysia's drive to become a high-income country by 2020, and it has turned to China for some extra momentum.

The country's self-imposed development goals, originally set by the government of then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed in 1991 and refined by current leader Najib Razak in 2010, include achieving gross national income per capita of at least $15,000. The latest data projects 42,777 ringgit ($10,233) for 2018, suggesting the country is about two years away from hitting the target -- no small feat considering the figure was $7,600 in 2010.

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