19 January 2024

Businesses in Malaysia need to gear up for growth and amplify future-proofing efforts to boost competitiveness in 2024

Malaysia is well-positioned to reap significant benefits from the opportunities arising from the global economic shift. Now more than ever, organisations must prepare for growth and expansion and step up future proofing measures to boost competitiveness in 2024, HSBC said at the HSBC Asian Business Forum

HSBC Global Research itself has recently raised its growth forecast for Malaysia to 4.1% (3.8% previously) for 2023 but retained its 2024 forecast at 4.5%, accounting for the better outturn in 3Q and a gradual uplift in the trade cycle.

To accelerate the sustainable development of local organisations, banks like HSBC will remain crucial partners with the government and business community. In 2024, as HSBC commemorates its 140th year in Malaysia, the bank is reaffirming its unwavering commitment to its business in Malaysia and supporting the country and its customers here.

Dato’ Omar added, “For the past 140 years, HSBC has been a key player in Malaysia’s development narrative. Since the opening of the bank’s first office in Malaysia, in Penang in 1884, we have supported and continue to support our customers and communities, growing and prospering together. And as a key connector in the business community with an unparalleled international network, HSBC is linking up Malaysia with the world and is focused on supporting the government’s ambitious plans for the country’s growth and economic progress both today and in the future”.

At a panel session during the HSBC Asian Business Forum, representatives from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) and HSBC discussed the growing need to position Malaysia as an innovation driven leader in the Asian economy for which, accelerating the progression of key economic sectors and creating new sources of growth will be critical. At the same time, prioritising the sustainable development of businesses and the wider economy will be crucial.

The Government’s efforts to establish long term plans that focus on sustainable growth via the Madani Economic Framework, the National Energy Transition Plan, and the New Industrial Master Plan, amongst others will be fundamental to fuelling this development. Businesses in the country need to increasingly leverage the policies laid out in these plans to differentiate themselves, encourage greater investments and future-proof their operations. Some of the areas businesses should focus on include:

Prioritise trade and investment
Reviving private investment is essential to Malaysia’s continued growth. To boost exports, generate jobs, and promote economic growth, both foreign and domestic direct investment are required. Achieving this will require businesses in the country to make significant investments for expansion, enhance connectivity to fortify ties with other trading partners and pursue more opportunities.

Strengthen digital and innovation capabilities
To transition to a modern 21st-century economy, companies should consider investing in high value-added technology which may include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, robotics and more. It will also be crucial for companies to reinvent their workforce. This includes allocating resources to develop skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow. More automation, digitalisation, adoption of technology, as well as innovation can lead to the creation of more well-paying jobs which has the potential to result in higher productivity.

Balance growth with sustainable development
With the country shifting gear to accelerate its net zero ambitions, businesses across sectors need to embark on long-term transformations to reduce their carbon output. This will involve making incremental efficiency steps, which on their own may not obviously advance the green agenda but pave the way to achieving the country’s long-term goals. This includes accelerating the adoption of renewable power and investing in new climate technologies. These efforts will be essential to facilitate the sustainable growth and enhance the resilience of organisations in the country.

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 63 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,992bn at 30 September 2022, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world.