• Malaysia in top 25 among 190 world economies
  • RCEP may be concluded only next year
  • Proton sales improves 12.5%
  • Malaysia-China Entrepreneur Conference to boost Malaysia-China entrepreneur ties
  • Singapore will facilitate India’s greater engagement with ASEAN
  • Alibaba to turn Singles’ Day into an international affair
  • Coach to delist from Hong Kong stock market 
Malaysia Remains in Top 25 Among 190 World Economies

Malaysia remained in the top 25 among 190 global economies this year in the latest World Bank’s Doing Business report, with a favourable business climate, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). At 24th position, the country is ranked marginally lower than the 23rd spot attained last year. “Despite the slight decline, Malaysia actually recorded an improvement by 0.96 in terms of an overall distance to frontier (DTF) score, from 77.47 in the previous year to 78.43 this year. MITI said the  drop in the ranking was a result of reforms undertaken by the United Arab Emirates, translating to an increase in the distance of frontier score of 1.87 and enabling it to leapfrog from 26th in 2016 to a ranking of 21st this year.

 Conclusion of RCEP May Be Extended To Mid Next Year

International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is expected to be extended to the middle of next year due to time constraints and with many issues yet to be discussed. He said the government may need to relook the RCEP’s conclusion target to make it more realistic, considering the number of issues to be discussed among member countries. The RCEP is a proposed mega-regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between 16 Asia-Pacific countries including the 10-member ASEAN countries, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Proton Sales Improves 12.5 Per Cent Year-to-date

Proton Holdings Bhd. recorded a 12.5 per cent increase in sales year-to-date, with 56,297 units sold compared with 50,091 units recorded in the same duration last year. The national car maker said despite the large decline in overall car sales in September due to the regular public holidays in Malaysia, the year to-date total industry volume (TIV) rose 1.7 per cent to 425,711 units from 418,277 units last year. Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Abdul Rashid Musa said both the Saga and the Persona models performed much better than 2016 with an increase of 9,661 units. Persona itself saw a 90 per cent increase year-to-date compared with the same period last year.

MCEC to Boost Malaysia-China Economic Ties

The 7th Malaysia-China Entrepreneur Conference (MCEC) – inspired by China’s strategic economy development initiative “One Belt One Road” – will be held this month in Putrajaya. Organised by the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC), the theme this year is “The Road”, indicating a passageway, access, and network to opportunities. The conference serves as a platform to promote and deepen the cooperation between the governments and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of China and Malaysia. MCEC 2017 will focus on business matching in 7 major industries, namely, real estate and construction, technology, agriculture, medical and health, service industry (education and logistics), Halal products and manufacturing. “We witnessed China become Malaysia’s largest trading partner for eight consecutive years and with MCEC 2017, our ultimate goal is to open new doors for Malaysian enterprises, especially SMEs to go beyond local and carve their names internationally,” said MCEC 2017 organising chairman and MCCC fifth youth council chairman Bryan Chong.

Singapore Will Facilitate India’s Greater Engagement With ASEAN

Singapore said it will facilitate India’s greater engagement with Southeast Asia and pledged to further deepen bilateral ties. “Singapore has always been a believer in India’s role in Asia and in ASEAN. We have always spoken up for India, we have always encouraged India to engage us and we’ve always done our best to ensure there is a seat at the table,” Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in New Delhi. He said Singapore acted as a gateway for India in the region and would continue to help New Delhi in broadening its relations with Southeast Asian countries. Balakrishnan said last year Singapore was India’s 10th largest trading partner and second biggest source of foreign direct investments (FDIs) into India. From 2000 to 2016, Singapore’s cumulative investment in India stood at US$45.9 billion, representing 16 per cent of total FDIs received by India.

Alibaba looks to turn Singles’ Day into an international affair

Alibaba Group Holding has pledged to turn this year’s Singles’ Day shopping spree into an international affair, with plans to promote 100 indigenous brands abroad, and offer more foreign products and services to mainland buyers. The Hangzhou-based company expected the pace of growth in international transactions to be faster than its domestic sales. Its international business posted 60 per cent year-on-year growth last year, against an overall sales increase of 32 per cent. International growth will be bigger as the e-commerce giant looks to export what it calls as the “China phenomenon” in retail to other parts of the globe. Singles’ Day, which has developed into China’s premier national shopping festival, was introduced and trademarked by Alibaba in 2009. It has eclipsed the annual Black Friday shopping activities after Thanksgiving Day in the US, and become the world’s largest online shopping event.

Coach to delist from Hong Kong stock market amid thin trading

New York luxury brand Coach has applied to delist from Hong Kong, reflecting the second international company this week to announce plans to exit from the local market owing to thin trading. Swiss commodity trading and mining company Glencore on Tuesday said it will delist from the local stock exchange from January 31. Both Coach and Glencore launched a secondary listing in Hong Kong in 2011, after the Hong Kong stock exchange ramped up its marketing campaign to promote the value of an expanded equity presence to multinational companies. The exits suggest the promised benefits of the secondary listing failed to materialise, hindering the stock market’s effort to become more international.