Highlights:

  1. World Bank revises Malaysia’s 2019 GDP growth to 4.7%
  2. SME Corp and Huawei Whitepaper propose ways to help SME uncover their full digital strength
  3. Linkedln to set up office in Malaysia
  4. FundedByMe granted approval to start operating in Dubai
  5. Oil prices dives lower as surging US output overshadows Opec curbs

World Bank revises Malaysia’s 2019 GDP growth to 4.7%
The World Bank has revised its projection of Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) downwards by 0.2 percentage point to 4.7 per cent this year after taking into consideration the new government’s spending and investment plan as well as external factors. Earlier in October, the bank had revised the country’s economic growth to 4.9 per cent from 5.4 per cent projected earlier. Country Economist Shakira Teh Sharifuddin said government spending and investment under the 2019 Budget were lower due to rigorous rationalisation plan as well as overall investment activities, which picked up post-14th general election. “The outlook for the Malaysian economy remains resilient in the near term despite considerable external and domestic headwinds,” said World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand Dr Mara Warwick. She stressed on the need for the country to accelerate the development of its human capital so as to join the ranks of a high-income nation. Human capital development means more attention into the health and education of the average Malaysian. Today, the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor on Realising Human Potential Report ranked Malaysia 55 out of 157 countries in the Human Capital Index (HCI).

SME Corp Malaysia Partners Huawei To Present Whitepaper On The State Of SMEs ICT Adoption in Malaysia
In yet another initiative to promote digitalisation among SMEs, SME Corp. Malaysia and Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn. Bhd. announced a Whitepaper on the current state of digitalisation in the Malaysian SME sector. Titled, “Accelerating Malaysian Digital SMEs: Escaping the Computerisation Trap”, the Whitepaper highlights challenges being faced by SMEs in order to be completely ‘digitalised’. It also proposes way forward to help SMEs cross the ‘digitalisation chasm’ and to uncover their full digital strength with the help of the Government and private sectors. SMEs in Malaysia represent 98.5% of all establishments which contributes to 37.1% of the Malaysia gross domestic product (GDP) and 66% of employment in 2017. However, SMEs are unfortunately caught in a computerisation trap with just having a computer and internet connectivity alone and not realising that they have stopped short of greater productivity gains and sales growth from investing further. To be truly digitalised, SMEs must re-engineer their businesses by ensuring that their business strategies, processes, and infrastructures are aligned and are fully integrated to support their digital transformation. “This digital revolution has also brought a drastic change in trading across borders. Digitalisation has made the world more connected and accessible through a more cost-effective way. Businesses, particularly the SMEs can now reach to new customers and international markets with relative ease through e-Commerce, mobile commerce and social media platforms. Full digitalisation of commerce could lead to as high as six-fold increase in the number of businesses that export goods”, said Dr. Mohd Hatta Ramli, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneurship Development. In June 2018, SME Corp. Malaysia, together with Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn. Bhd, sponsored a study of 2,033 SMEs representing all sectors (services, manufacturing, construction, and agriculture) and regions to explore the state of ICT adoption as well as to examine the drivers and barriers of digital transformation through the lens of SMEs in Malaysia.

Linkedln to set up office in Malaysia
World’s largest professional network Linkedln will be setting up an office in Malaysia in the first quarter of 2019 to serve its four million members in the country and to scale up its business in Asia Pacific.  Managing Director for Asia Pacific Olivier Legrand said Linkedln was also keen to tap into ASEAN’s vast population 600 million to create access to economic opportunities for its professionals. LinkedIn already has more than 28 million members in ASEAN, he said in a statement. “As the company continues to strengthen its offerings for small and medium business customers in Malaysia, our aim is to serve this growing segment in the region,” he added.

Oil prices dives lower as surging US output overshadows Opec curbs
Oil prices dived lower toward US$49 a barrel as investors seek more assurance that Opec’s output cuts will work in the face of surging American supplies. Futures in New York slipped as much as 1.5 percent, after plunging 5.1 percent over the past two sessions and closing below US$50 on Monday for the first time since October 2017. The slide accelerated after data provider Genscape Inc. predicted higher American supplies, while uncertainties persist over the effectiveness of curbs by the Opec+ coalition that includes Saudi Arabia and Russia. 8.03 million.

FundedByMe granted approval to start operating in Dubai
Following the strategic growth of FundedByMe, aiming at becoming the most global crowdfunding platform, the platform today announced the final steps to launch its operations in Dubai for the UAE and the MENA region. An in-principle license has been granted conditional to completing the setup of the local entity. Operations will commence in early 2019. FundedByMe, founded in Sweden in 2011, is the fastest growing crowdfunding platform in Scandinavia with offices in Sweden, Finland, Poland, The Netherlands, Singapore and Malaysia. Now entering Dubai as the region’s first equity crowdfunding platform, fully incorporated at the DIFC and fully regulated by the DFSA. The FundedByMe MENA unique offering will support early stage and growth companies in the technology and finance sectors. Providing SMEs with a more flexible access to capital at a lower cost than conventional channels. FundedByMe technology proves to be more effective for both investors and entrepreneurs. FundedByMe MENA will be offering early deal-flow access to high-potential asset classes formerly unavailable to individual and retail investors. “FundedByMe addresses and supports the growing needs of entrepreneurs and businesses looking for alternative finance, whilst providing unique investment opportunities not typically accessible to individual and retail investors in the fast-developing MENA region. It’s state-of-the-art technology and security architecture are considered among the best and are well recognised by international standards.” says Mr. Hamdi Osman, Chairman, FundedByMe MENA