Despite external headwinds, Malaysian companies are not as gloomy about their business prospects next year as one might expect. However, HSBC’s latest global survey mentioned that Malaysian businesses are positive about the outlook for the year ahead and expect trade activity and business of 9,131 companies in 35 markets will be increased.
1. 81% of businesses forecast sales growth next year
It is expected that 81% of business forecast sales growth next year which 43% of new markets will be opening up, 34% of businesses will be introducing new products or services, and 35% of key contributors will be investing in technology because 5G and artificial intelligence are the two most important technologies that will have impact on business of Malaysian companies. The quality and availability of suppliers and raw materials will also be increasing to 34% in 2020.
2. 66% of companies see Asia-Pacific as best prospect for growth
Based on the survey which was conducted between August and September 2019, 66% of Malaysian companies see Asia-pacific markets as the best prospects for growth compared with 24% which favour Europe and 17% which are looking to North America for growth. In Asia-pacific markets, Singapore, China, and Japan are the top 3 favours for Malaysian companies to aim for future trading expansion markets in the next three to five years.
3. 83% of businesses think government should becoming more protectionist
However, 83% of Malaysian businesses think governments are becoming more protectionist compared with 65% globally by several ways to ensure business sentiment and business growth. 42% of contributors in Malaysia feel the impact of protectionism as the competitiveness of business is increased and 37% of contributors realize the tariffs are added to the cost of doing business. Some contributors think that regulatory standards make them difficult to do business and the action of moving money out of the market has been controlled.
4. 74% of businesses think they have a role to play in delivering UN's sustainable development goals
According to the survey, 74% of Malaysian businesses think they have a role to play in delivering the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, but they will face challenges to implementing sustainable practices in the next five years. There are different challenges will be faced within 5 years which are extra finance involved to implement, lack of flexibility, extra work or time involved to implement, and lack of consistent measurement or reporting framework set by government or regulators.
In fact, 81% of businesses forecast sales growth in 2020, largely through improved productivity and entry into new market segments. The government will also continue to ensure the concerted efforts are undertaken for achieving a more sustainable growth in businesses Malaysia with the shared prosperity agenda.