Malaysia Needs More Investments In E&E Industry For High-income Transformation

Malaysia needs to focus on increasing investments in the Electrical and Electronics (E&E) industry to transform into a high-income economy under the Industry 4.0 revolution. SME Association Malaysia National Deputy President, Ong Chee Tat said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country had a lot of catching up to do, to be on par with the bigger players, as well as be atop the latest trends in automation and technologies. He said in terms of the Industry 4.0 revolution, local SMEs do not have the economies of scale compared to other countries, and are thus, unable to get a faster return on their investments. “The big boys can spend first and earn later.But, the smaller players, can only spend what they earn. It is a matter of capital investment,” he told Bernama. Ong said the association had put forth suggestions to the government on the funds needed to spur SMEs to advance into the Industry 4.0.

Malaysia’s Economy To Be On Uptrend For Next Three-five Years

Malaysia’s economy is expected to be on an uptrend for the next three to five years, supported by strong local and foreign investments, increase in exports as well as consistent government support for the companies. This, according to a report, will help the country’s gross domestic product to touch US$1.3 trillion by 2030 and overtake Singapore. Chief Economist at IQI Global, Shan Saeed, said thanks to the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), massive investments would continue to come to Malaysia. “The initiative will be a game changer to Malaysia, he told Bernama.

 VMO sees a 435% booking growth: The changing landscape of the venue booking trend in Malaysia

Popular Malaysian instant event venue and services portal startup, VMO Rocks Sdn Bhd saw a staggering booking growth of 435% year-on-year from 2015 until 2016 on their booking portal vmo.rocks. In addition, they are already estimating a double growth digit for 2017.  “The venue booking landscape is changing rapidly with consumers planning almost a year ahead of time. Some customers have even paid in advance, especially for popular venues,” said Vincent Kok, Chief Eventgelist of VMO Rocks. Kok said at the end of December 2016, VMO received RM39 million in inquiry value compared to RM9.5 million in 2015. The value of bookings also increased from RM223,000 in 2015 to RM1.19 million in 2016, a growth of more than five times.

Singapore Malls Feeling the Pinch from eCommerce

eCommerce giants like Lazada and Taobao are putting the squeeze on brick-and-mortar shops in Singapore’s malls. More and more Singaporeans are shopping with clicks of a mouse rather than going out.  Even the annual Great Singapore Sale, which targets tourists and has been running for 24 years, cannot forestall the decline. The event has recorded three consecutive years of decline in retail sales. Singapore has felt the disruptive power of online shopping more severely than other Southeast Asian countries. Some of the world’s biggest eCommerce players have targeted the country, due to its location as a gateway to the lucrative Asean market and the buying power of its affluent population.

Hong Kong set to forgo HK$5 billion in tax revenues after reform to ease burden on SMEs

The Hong Kong government is set to announce a tax reform which would see its administration forgo about HK$5 billion in revenue and ease the burden on small and medium-sized enterprises, according to Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po. The move was earlier promised by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in her election manifesto, which proposed lowering the tax rate for the first HK$2 million of corporate profits to 10 per cent, from the current 16.5 per cent. Under the proposed two-tier tax regime, Chan said the government would go without about HK$5 billion tax revenue, or about 3.8 per cent of the total amount. One month after taking up the top job, Lam put a tax reform package on her agenda with a focus on startups and SMEs. The move was to ensure that the city did not lose young entrepreneurs to regional rivals such as Singapore, South Korea and mainland China.

Chinese economic figures fail to live up to expectations

China’s factory output slowed more than expected in July while investment and retail sales also disappointed, reinforcing concerns that the world’s second-largest economy was starting to lose some steam as lending costs rose and the property market cooled. Statistics Bureau data showed factory output rose 6.4 per cent in July from a year earlier, the slowest pace since January this year, statistics bureau data showed on Monday. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted factory output would grow by 7.2 per cent in July, down from 7.6 per cent in the previous month.