How does it look for Malaysia amidst the global economic slowdown, and the private sector’s role in helping to cushion the impact and to strengthen support?
As global megatrends like urbanization, globalization and digitalization are inevitable forces in shifting markets and driving demands structurally and profoundly, one strategy is to address growth fields beyond just traditional markets, said Siemens Malaysia President & CEO Indranil Lahiri.
“The pockets of global slowdown can in fact be opportunities for Malaysia, which we need to look into. When a market sector goes down, there will be another emerging to fill the gap,” he said in his presentation themed ‘Demand-Driven Economy: New Market Trends Boosting New Technologies’ at the recent panel discussion of the EU-Malaysia Trade and Investment Forum 2019.
Indranil pointing out the various factors of global megatrends that are changing the world dramatically and pushing for the emergence of new solutions.
He was joined in with other esteemed panelists namely InvestKL CEO Datuk Zainal Amanshah and Standard Chartered Malaysia CEO Mr Abrar Anwar, while moderated by ASLI Director (Head of Centre for Policy Studies) Mr Lau Zheng Zhou.
He said while the government’s austerity measures are understandable in the face of national debts, public spending will need to continue in order to maintain momentum.
“Clear and supportive government policies will help to encourage and boost private investment and consumption."
“It is also critical for Malaysia to showcase technological and cost competitiveness in order to sustain growth from external markets,” added Indranil.
The panel discussing featuring the key speakers namely Indranil (second from left), Zainal (second from right) and Abrar (right) while moderator Lau covered topics from the US-China trade war to the Belt-Road Initiative and their impacts upon the Malaysian economy.
He noted that labor productivity data is indication of a deeper structural problem where Malaysia has been shown to be comparatively slower in productivity growth than the other nations regionally.
“Human capital development and talent upskilling need to be continuously prioritized as an important agenda by companies so that we can meet the digital demands of the present and future. In fact, the transformation process has already begun with jobs like accounting and even legal no longer requiring manual labor and can be automated with the deployment of robots,” said Indranil.
During the forum, the EU-Malaysia business booklet was launched to address industries-specific concerns faced by EU businesses in Malaysia. It also provided recommendations deemed critical to Malaysian growth, which was put forth by 9 out of 12 sector committees.
Indranil addressing the audience that comprises delegates like Ambassadors, top representatives from the different organizations under the EUMCCI sector committee, and key decision-makers during his panel presentation.
In the spirit that Malaysia continues to be business friendly for organizations, transparency and decision-making need to be in place to enhance the overall business environment. The publication is to be circulated among the public and private sectors, government agencies, as well as other key stakeholders.
With the launch, the committee representatives of the 9 sectors were also introduced before the audience.
Deputy Secretary-General of Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) Dato’ Sri Norazman Ayob said Malaysia is backed by a balanced economic structure and sound fundamentals.
“Malaysia welcomes EU companies to contribute to the development of the nation,” he added.
With the Industry 4.0 framework that was launched last year, he said a complete readiness assessment program for 500 firms will be completed by end of this year.
The panelists and moderator with their tokens of appreciation received from EUMCCI’s Benetello (centre) at the end of the panel discussion session.
Additionally, he revealed that a National E-Commerce council has since been established to drive e-commerce growth, and that the e-commerce industry is expected to contribute to a RM200bil share of the country’s GDP by 2020.
Also present was EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EUMCCI) CEO Mr Roberto Benetello, Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) CEO Mr Daniel Bernbeck, and French Ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency Frederic Laplanche.