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Foreign firms remain confident about doing business in Malaysia -- HSBC Survey

26/05/2022 02:26 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 (Bernama) -- Foreign companies remain confident in doing business in Malaysia, with surging ambitions for their business in the country, according to a survey by HSBC covering six of the world's largest economies.

More than 1,500 companies from China, India, the United States (US), Germany, France, and the United Kingdom participated in the survey, “HSBC Navigator: SEA in Focus”, of which 32 per cent have operations in Malaysia.

HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd (HSBC Malaysia) said businesses in China, India and the US particularly are either looking to expand their Malaysian operations, prioritise growth in Malaysia over the next two years or enter the Malaysian market in the next two years.

“This is amidst the recovery of the economy as the nation emerges from the effects of the third year of the global pandemic,” it said in a statement today.

HSBC Malaysia head of commercial banking Andrew Sill said Malaysia has always been an attractive market to the world’s largest economies.

“The nation’s economic resilience, efficient supply chain and booming digital economy are positive signs that international companies look to for opportunities of growth,” he said in the statement.

According to the survey, there is strong Chinese interest in the Malaysian market compared to other Southeast Asian countries.

“Among the six inbound markets in the study, Chinese companies were almost twice as likely to be planning an expansion of their Malaysian operations -- 41 per cent versus an average of 22 per cent.

“This is in line with China and Malaysia’s current trade relationship, as China has remained Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years,” said HSBC Malaysia.

Furthermore, nearly three in 10 (29%) Indian companies and nearly one in four (24%) US companies look to prioritise growth in Malaysia in the next two years, it added.

The survey also indicated that Malaysia is poised for foreign investment in the near future, as nearly two in 10 (19 per cent) companies surveyed plan to expand here in the next two years – with particular focus from Indian firms (25 per cent) and Chinese firms (22 per cent).

According to HSBC Malaysia, foreign companies are attracted to Malaysia on account of its optimistic economic outlook, and for the opportunity the Malaysian market provides to develop and test new products and solutions.

“A third of the respondents pointed to each of these market features (34 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively) as attracting them to expand their Malaysian operations,” it said. 

On average, the respondents also cited ease of supply chain (30 per cent), proven economic resilience in response to the pandemic (31 per cent) and the growing digital economy (31 per cent) as compelling reasons for business expansion in Malaysia.

The “HSBC Navigator: SEA in Focus” survey gauges companies’ sentiment on doing business in the Southeast Asia region and each country, focusing in particular on trade, digitisation and sustainability.


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