1 March 2023

Businesses in Malaysia need to boost international connectivity to thrive in a new era

Malaysia is in a prime position to be a major beneficiary of the global economic transformation. However, organisations need to continue to seize opportunities to boost international connectivity in a post-Covid period, HSBC said at the HSBC Asian Business Forum. YB Tuan Rafizi bin Ramli, Minister of Economy, Malaysia officiated the bank’s annual flagship event in the country.

Speaking at the forum, HSBC Malaysia CEO; Dato’ Omar Siddiq said, “The current global market conditions have only accelerated the focus on shifting the world’s economic centre of gravity towards Asia, with the ASEAN region playing a critical role in fuelling this development. Located strategically in the heart of ASEAN, Malaysia continues to offer great potential for investors. Amongst the challenges of 2022, the country was a clear regional outperformer fuelled by its resilient external engine and flourishing domestic demand. And while HSBC Global Research expects 2023 growth to moderate to 4%, this continues to be a very robust growth rate in this day and age”.

“At the same time, for organisations in the country to gain a competitive edge in a new era and to attract more investments, it will be imperative for them to capitalise on opportunities to strengthen their international connectivity. This will be critical to opening up access to growth and development prospects”, he added.

The areas that businesses in Malaysia need to pay the closest attention to in 2023 to differentiate themselves and encourage greater investments include:

Embracing the economic pivot to Asia and ASEAN
Asia is a bright spot in the global economy, with the ASEAN region being pivotal to its growth. Malaysia itself has risen as a go-to investment destination world over. Leveraging the government’s conducive business environment, organisations here now need to increasingly embrace opportunities for growth. This includes capitalising on initiatives offered as part of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) framework and using it to promote the benefits of investing in Malaysia while also seeing how it can facilitate business expansion across the Asia Pacific region.

China reopening has major benefits for global economy, Malaysia too will reap great rewards
As Malaysia’s largest trading partner, China’s reopening will provide significant benefits.This includes enhanced investments from China in a range of industries and also potential investment opportunities in China for businesses in Malaysia. Companies here will now need to seek out such opportunities proactively and demonstrate why they are an ideal fit for a particular investment project.

Supply chain diversification a boost for Malaysia
Shifting supply chains have pushed companies around the world to find ways to adapt and sustain the supply of goods and services. The prospect of multinational manufacturing firms relocating their production base to countries like Malaysia is accelerating. Many businesses have also adopted a 'China +1' strategy sourcing products from Chinese suppliers plus at least one other country. Now more than ever, businesses here should reassess global footprints of both their production and supplier bases.

Investing in the digital economy will provide great gains
Business transformation will no longer be driven by one technology – it will take a combination – bringing together artificial intelligence, analytics, the Internet of Things, 5G and distributed ledger technology. It is increasingly important for firms to recognise the gains of investing in the digital economy and accelerate digitalisation efforts. Continuous investment in digital will not only boost the resilience of companies but also open up new cross border value-creation possibilities e.g. the implementation of blockchain can vastly enhance the efficiency of trade finance transactions.

Significant opportunities exist for businesses in Malaysia to thrive in a new era – this includes growing investments in areas that will facilitate greater international connectivity while enabling them to gain a competitive advantage. But those opportunities won’t just come unsolicited. Businesses need to seize them and effectively capitalise on them for growth.

Media enquiries to:

HSBC Bank Malaysia
Rhia Sarah George
+603 2075 6043

HSBC Malaysia
HSBC's presence in Malaysia dates back to 1884 when the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited established its first office in the country on the island of Penang, with the permission to issue currency notes. HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad was locally incorporated in 1984 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, founding member of the HSBC Group. In 2007, HSBC Bank Malaysia was the first foreign bank to be awarded an Islamic banking subsidiary licence in Malaysia, namely HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad. Today, HSBC Malaysia has a network of 54 branches nationwide, of which 22 are HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad branches. HSBC Malaysia offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services including Islamic financial solutions. HSBC Malaysia has also led innovation in Malaysia by introducing Malaysia’s first ATM and Electronic Touch Banking in the early 1980s. Today, HSBC Malaysia has launched innovative solutions such as HSBCnet for secure banking for businesses, Trade Transaction Tracker and Facial Recognition on supported mobile phones.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 62 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,967bn at 31 December 2022, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world.