• Alibaba Conducts Training for Malaysian SMEs
  • iFleet Launches RM1 Million Fleet Transformation Fund for SMEs
  • Prime Office Rentals in KL to Continue Declining
  • World Bank says Malaysia to achieve high-income nation status as early as 2020
  • Singapore’s exports growth slows in November

Alibaba Conducts Training for Malaysian SMEs

World e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has conducted a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce training programme for Malaysia’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) Malaysia B2B Project Director, Terry Jiang said the programme was held across nine major cities nationwide. It attracted 330 SMEs. The two-week programme, conducted by 10 e-commerce experts from Alibaba.com, was supported by Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (MATRADE). It provides capacity building for SMEs on e-commerce, starting with effective ways to market their goods on the online platform, logistics and payment system management and how to capture consumer preferences. “As we now have about 2,000 SMEs on board for Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), it is important to enable them to know all the tools and know-how so that they can effectively tap into the global market,” he said. The training programme, the latest collaboration in line with the eWTP, will allow easier trade for SMEs between China and Malaysia as well as globally using the DFTZ platform. In a statement, MDEC Chief Operating Officer, Datuk Ng Wan Peng, said the programme will boost the adoption of e-commerce in the country and raise the SMEs’ competitive edge in the global market via digital means. To-date, Malaysia has 907,065 SMEs, representing 98.5 per cent of the total establishments. (Bernama)

iFleet Launches RM1 Million Fleet Transformation Fund for SMEs

iFleet has announced the launch of its RM1 Million Fleet Transformation Fund for enterprises. The fund seeks to help enterprises digitise their business in the area of fleet management, leveraging on iFleet – a B2B solution targeted at commercial vehicles. The intelligent fleet tracking solution enables businesses to track their fleet in real-time and is currently the most robust all-in-one solution available in the market.  SMEs registered in Malaysia with a fleet size of up to 30 vehicles are encouraged to apply to the fund. Apart from logistics, any SMEs that require the managing of cars, bikes, trucks, vans and more are encouraged to apply. This includes, but are not limited to SMEs in construction, engineering, government, healthcare, non-profit organisations, plumbing, pest control, security, rental car companies, transportation, delivery, medical or emergency services, runners and messenger bikes. Successful applicants will receive up to RM10,000 in total subsidy amount for the installation of iFleet in their vehicles and also a subsidy towards the subscription of iFleet services. (Media Release)

Prime Office Rentals in KL to Continue Declining

Prime office rentals in Kuala Lumpur are projected to continue declining in the next 12 months on increasing supply of new office space and as low occupancy levels remain the main concerns of the industry. According to the ‘Asia-Pacific Prime Office Rental Index for the third quarter (Q3) of 2017’ report by global property consultant, Knight Frank, prime office rentals declined 0.4 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) compared to the previous quarter. “As a growing number of new office space comes into completion amid weaker occupier demand, overall rents and occupancy levels will continue to be under pressure. “In this tenant-led market, landlords continue to be flexible as they strive to maintain and improve occupancy of their buildings,” said Knight Frank Malaysia Corporate Services Executive Director, Teh Young Khean in a statement today. In contrast, prime rents in Singapore increased for the first time since late 2014, even as vacancy rates continued to rise above 15 per cent due to the huge supply influx in the last two quarters. (Bernama)

World Bank: Malaysia to achieve high-income nation status as early as 2020

According to World Bank simulations, Malaysia is projected to achieve high-income status as early as 2020. The World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor showed that Malaysia is projected to exceed the threshold that defines high-income economy status at some point in the period from 2020 to 2024. The World Bank currently defines high-income economies as those whose gross national income (GNI) per capita stands at US$12,236 (RM49,916.76) or more. In 2017, Malaysia’s average GNI per capita is estimated to stand at US$9,660 (RM39,407.97), just short of US$2,576 (RM10,508.79) of the defined threshold level. The World Bank also projects Malaysia’s economy to continue at a strong pace of 5.2% in 2018.

Singapore’s exports growth slows in November

Singapore’s on-year non-oil domestic exports growth slowed significantly in November from October’s double-digit pace, as sales of electronics cooled, official data showed on Monday. Exports rose 9.1 per cent in November year-on-year, data from the trade agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore showed, slowing from a revised 20.5 per cent surge the month before. That was more than the 5.5 per cent increase predicted by economists in a Reuters poll. NODX to majority of the top markets grew in November 2017, except Hong Kong and Taiwan; growth was led by China, South Korea and the US.

In October, exports grew at their fastest on-year pace in two-and-a-half years. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, exports grew 8.7 per cent in November after growing a revised 12.3 per cent in October. (Sg Press Centre)