• Malaysia’s e-commerce sector has grown by 47% from 2015 and is now worth US$2.41 billion
  • Entrepreneurial Culture to be intensified at universities
  • MGCC: Focus on education for skilled Workforce, data protection framework to Brace For Industry 4.0
  • PPIPBM targets 20% of members involved in Halal Sector to penetrate global Mart by 2019
  • Singapore manufacturers forecast flat outlook for business growth
  • Hong Kong home prices grow at slowest pace in nine months

Malaysia’s E-commerce Has Grown By 47% From 2015
Malaysia’s e-commerce sector has grown by 47 per cent from 2015 and is now worth US$2.41 billion (US$1=RM4.23), said Facebook Malaysia Country Director, Nicole Tan. She said on average, Malaysians spent 187 minutes daily on their mobile phones, and businesses as such should take the opportunity to implement the right e-commerce strategy to promote products and services. “With Southeast Asia being pegged as the new frontier for e-commerce, it is critical for consumer goods businesses to implement the right strategy for their brand,” she said.

Ministry to Intensify Entrepreneurial Coaching at Universities
The Higher Education Ministry will intensify entrepreneurship coaching and opportunities in universities to enable more students to become job creators upon graduation. Its Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said an entrepreneurial culture would be instilled among undergraduates to develop their creative and innovative potentials, as well as the courage to explore business opportunities. For 2017, he said the ministry has set a target of providing exposure to over 70 per cent of undergraduates on a structured entrepreneurship programme, getting six per cent to be actively involved in entrepreneurship, and another three per cent to make entrepreneurship their career choice upon graduation. “If possible, the ministry wants to increase the percentage of those pursuing entrepreneurship as a career choice to 10 per cent in the future,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Focus on Education for Skilled Workforce, Data Protection Framework to Brace for Industry 4.0 — MGCC
The Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) has urged the Malaysian government to focus on education for a skilled workforce, framework for data protection and infrastructure while bracing itself for Industry 4.0. Its Executive Officer, Daniel Bernbeck, said despite a series of tax incentives outlined under the 2018 Budget, education for skilled workers, especially on mechatronics programmes, remained important to move into the next step of the industrial development. “Of course, the first thing is, you have to invest in the machines and all that, but you have to have the skilled workforce to work on the machines,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. On legal framework for data protection, Bernbeck said, the measure was the major concern for industry players as industry 4.0 was all about data and analytics.

PPIPBM Targets 20% of its Members Involved in Halal Sector to Penetrate Global Mart By 2019
The Bumiputera Manufacturers and Services Industry Association of Malaysia (PPIPBM) targets at least 20 per cent of its members involved in the halal industry to penetrate the global market by 2019. Its President, Datuk Nurammar Abu Bakar, said one of the platforms for them to grow their businesses globally was to register their companies through Global Halal Data Pool. “The entrepreneurs who sign up with the Global Halal Data Pool would benefit greatly as they could connect with potential buyers worldwide. “Through the Global Halal Data Pool, halal industry players worldwide can access company data such as materials used, nutrition facts and quantities of products produced,” he said

World Congress for Endoscopic Surgery of the Skull Base and Brain in 2020 set to deliver RM8.7 million in economic impact
Malaysia has secured the privilege to host a major medical congress – the World Congress for Endoscopic Surgery of the Skull Base and Brain in June 2020, marking the first time the world congress will be held outside of US and Europe. With the rise in specialised medical research in Malaysia gaining traction, over 900 delegates from around the world and locally are scheduled to attend the four-day congress in Kuala Lumpur. “With over 900 delegates set to attend the congress and generate an estimated economic impact of RM8.7 million, the congress will further strengthen our credibility as a knowledge and creative hub,” said Datuk Zulkefli Hj. Sharif, Chief Executive Officer of MyCEB, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia. The congress will act as a platform for delegates to network and identify new medical trends and breakthroughs, while the show’s powerful line up of conference programme also helps to provide a holistic and comprehensive view of the latest technologies, issues and opportunities in the sector. The hosting of the event will also further strengthen the country’s aspiration to become a knowledge and creative hub by 2020. In 2016, the medical sector has attracted a record number of 10,532 delegates to the country.

Manufacturers in Singapore forecast flat outlook for business growth
Nearly four out of five firms in the manufacturing sector expect the business environment over the next six months to remain similar to a quarter ago, according to a survey released by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) today. The results show that a weighted 77 per cent of companies in the manufacturing sector expect the business situation to remain flat, while a weighted 14 per cent expect business conditions to improve and a weighted 9 per cent foresee a deteriorating business outlook. Within the manufacturing sector, the precision engineering cluster is the most optimistic in its outlook, with a net weighted balance of 22 per cent of firms anticipating improved business conditions ahead. The general manufacturing industries and electronics clusters are the least optimistic, with a net weighted balance of 9 and 11 per cent of firms expecting a less favourable operating environment in the six months ahead, respectively, the survey showed.

Hong Kong home prices grow at slowest pace in nine months
Hong Kong’s secondary home prices climbed at their slowest pace in nine months in September, with tiny flats registering the biggest drop. The city’s home price index crept up 0.26 per cent to 340, according to data released today by the government’s rating and valuation department. The momentum was slower than the growth of 0.4 per cent in August and 0.3 per cent in July. Although a relatively modest rise, it was still the 18th straight monthly increase in prices for used flats. “Home prices will continue to rise but at a slower pace in the coming months,” said David Chan, a director at Ricacorp Properties. Hong Kong’s home prices have surged 25.3 per cent since March, 2016.