1. Malaysia to benefit from booming ASEAN digital economy
  2. MITI: SMEs involvement in the aerospace industry is encouraging
  3. Bank Negara Malaysia to launch VBI scorecard in October
  4. Malaysia on Baker Hughes radar
  5. Malaysia’s exports to Kazakhstan rise to RM62 mln
  6. McDonald’s Malaysia commits to long term sustainability efforts as part of its global Scale for Good strategy
  7. Interbase Resources Relaunches Lmall to offer Malaysians 
a Premium Online Shopping Experience

Malaysia to benefit from booming ASEAN digital economy
Experts are predicting that consumer spending in Southeast Asia’s online economy will rise six and a half times, or 500 per cent from the current US$30 billion to US$200 billion by 2025, fuelled by consumption of electronics, clothing, household goods and groceries as well as increased travel within the region HSBC Bank Malaysia said Southeast Asia is the world’s fastest growing Internet region with nearly four million new users expected to come online every month for the next five years. This translates into a user base of 480 million by 2020. Chief Executive Officer, Mukhtar Hussain said “ASEAN economies stand to benefit from the potential of the flourishing digital economy, but for that potential to become a reality, changes must be made.” HSBC said in light of this, the mobile wallet segment in Malaysia has been growing since the entry of Ant Financial’s mobile solution, Alipay, which has the potential to drive Malaysians to leverage mobile payments and spur the shift towards a cashless society. “In line with this, Bank Negara Malaysia has put up the Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework to drive the next e-payment migration, which will be propelled by the high penetration of mobile phones and complement debit cards to replace cash,” it added.

SMEs involvement in the aerospace industry is encouraging
Malaysia continues to strengthen its position as the Aerospace Hub for South East Asia. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry said the Malaysian aerospace industry has seen significant growth and has provided more than 23,000 job opportunities, mainly in aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) with active participation of small and medium-sized enterprises. Total number of companies in operation has reached more than 230. Total revenue recorded in 2017 is RM13.5 billion with aero manufacturing sector contributing 49% and MRO sector contributing 46% of the overall revenue. A statement from MITI added that 2017 was a record year for Malaysia’s aerospace exports with RM8.49 billion of exports, an increase of 54% compared with 2016. It added that in 2017, 13 aerospace projects were approved with investments of RM649 million, 80% were domestic investments. The approved projects are expected to generate an additional 1,021 employment opportunities. SMEs involvement in the aerospace industry is also encouraging. The 20 SMEs under the EPP8: Developing SMEs in the Global Aerospace Manufacturing Industry Programme under SME Corp have also shown positive growth and expected to generate more than RM30 million revenue this year. These companies were identified to be further developed as part of the Government’s initiative to expand the local aerospace supply chain. The companies are mainly in the parts & components manufacturing (metallic & composites), tooling manufacturing and special processes for aerospace manufacturing. MITI said that moving forward in 2018, the industry is expected to grow at 5% with aero manufacturing sector contributing 54% of the overall aerospace industry revenue.

Malaysia on Baker Hughes radar
Malaysia will continue to be a key Southeast Asian country of focus for Baker Hughes this year, while expecting the country’s oil and gas sector to record moderate growth in the second half (2H18). Baker Hughes is a General Electric company (BHGE), which is an international industrial service entity, and one of the world’s largest oilfield services companies. Asia Pacific President, Visal Leng said although challenges are likely to remain, momentum in large project executions – both new and those delayed due to an industry downturn – would likely see a pickup and move ahead in the 2H18. “I hope the worst is over. We are cautiously optimistic and forecasting growth in some countries for this year compared to last year. Overall, we are focusing on Southeast Asia and China. Malaysia is a very strong pillar for our business in this region,” he told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur.

Bank Negara Malaysia to launch VBI scorecard in October
Bank Negara Malaysia is expected to launch the value-based intermediation (VBI) scorecard in October this year, in conjunction with the Global Islamic Finance Forum. BNM Islamic Banking and Takaful Department Director, Mohd Zabidi Md Nor, said the scorecard aims to measure how Islamic financial institutions adopt the VBI initiative by conducting their businesses based on the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet. Mohd Zabidi said generally, the scorecard comprises both quantitative and qualitative elements that measure the different segments in the Islamic financial sector. According to earlier reports, nine Islamic banking institutions, namely Bank Islam, Bank Muamalat, CIMB Islamic, Agrobank, HSBC Amanah, Maybank Islamic, AmBank Islamic, Alliance Islamic and Standard Chartered Saadiq form the VBI Community of Practitioners (COP). “The nine Islamic banking players are also involved in the creation of the scorecard to ensure it is practical,” said Mohd Zabidi. BNM in collaboration with the Islamic finance industry released a strategy paper on the VBI in July last year and aimed at strengthening the role and impact of Islamic banking institutions towards a sustainable financial ecosystem. The VBI is rooted in Shariah, but has similarities with ethical finance such as environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainable, responsible, impact investing, (SRI).

Malaysia’s exports to Kazakhstan rise to RM62 mln
Malaysia’s exports to Kazakhstan, especially machinery and transport equipment, increased to RM62 million in 2017 from RM26.6 million in 2016. According to statistics from Malaysia External Trade Development Corp, the other sectors, such as food and mineral fuels, recorded tremendous export growth of RM110 million and RM66 million respectively. Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Malaysia, Daniyar Sarekenov, said the strong trade relations had reflected positively on the economies of both nations.

McDonald’s Malaysia commits to long term sustainability efforts as part of its global Scale for Good strategy
124 McDonald’s restaurants in Malaysia have been equipped with at least one green initiative as part of its long-term sustainability efforts. The move is also part of McDonald’s global Scale for Good strategy. Example is the Setia Alam Drive-Thru restaurant which has reduced overall power consumption by 25 per cent which is equivalent to a reduction of 12,699 kg CO2 emission per month. The initiative is part of efforts to help meet the commitment to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under Malaysia’s Green Technology Master Plan for 2017-2030, the government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement 2015 was to achieve up to 45 per cent reduction in GHG emission intensity of GDP by 2030 relative to 2005 levels. McDonald’s Malaysia is also committed to other sustainability efforts as part of the company’s global Scale for Good strategy. This includes waste management, water supplies and consumption management, packaging and recycling initiatives, as well as responsible sourcing. For instance, under packaging and recycling initiatives, McDonald’s Malaysia has successfully eliminated the use of foam packaging in all restaurants three years ago. All restaurants have also significantly reduced usage of plastics bags and plastic lids by approximately 43 million pieces per annum, which translates to about 50,000 kg of plastic material. Furthermore, all current customer paper packaging used in McDonald’s restaurants are made with 100 per cent recyclable fibre material.

Interbase Resources Relaunches Lmall to offer Malaysians 
a Premium Online Shopping Experience
Interbase Resources Sdn Bhd (“IRSB”), Malaysia’s pioneering e-commerce giant and owner of Lelong.my, today announced the relaunch of Lmall, offering Malaysian online netizens an enhanced premium shopping experience that guarantees 100% authentic products. Lmall achieves this by curating its brands on a by-invitation basis and requiring them to be based in Malaysia, ensuring a strong local presence. The marketplace currently houses over 100 world renowned brands. Richard Tan, co-founder and managing director of IRSB, states that Lmall is only the beginning for what is to be a year of innovation for the e-commerce pioneers.