Businesses and businesses in Malaysia’s mega-corporations are being urged to grow their revenues as a result of the country’s current economic crisis.
Key points:Malaysia’s economy contracted by 1.1 per cent last year, its worst since the global financial crisisMalaysian businesses are facing a lack of capital to growSource: ABC News | Latest updatesMalaysians have been struggling with a lack and uncertainty as the country faces the biggest economic crisis since the Global Financial Crisis.
Malaysi Airlines chief executive officer Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the crisis has made Malaysia a more attractive place to do business.
“Our country has become a very attractive place for investors to invest and our economy has actually grown at the fastest pace in over two years,” he said.
“There’s a lot of new opportunities out there, and I think the Malaysian government needs to think more broadly and really think about how we can invest more in this sector.”
Corporate Services Malaysia, a non-profit organisation set up to improve access to business services in Malaysia, said the lack of investment could have a knock-on effect on the economy, and that the government needs “more strategic direction” to boost the sector.
Malay business owners have been grappling with a huge shortage of capital as the economy contracted.
Businesses have struggled to meet demand for services, which have been the major driver of growth in the past decade.
The shortage has been particularly acute in the fast-growing business services sector, which accounts for nearly 70 per cent of the economy.
Corporate services is where the bulk of businesses’ business is done, such as sales and service calls, which is often a more profitable and flexible way to operate.
Many businesses are now looking to expand their operations into the new economy.
“There are many opportunities for Malaysia to become a global financial centre, which will require a large-scale investment and will be a challenge,” Mr Rahman said.
“If we are not to become too dependent on the growth of our business services industry, then we have to invest in new businesses and new ways to connect to customers.”
Investment in corporate services has been growing at a fast rate since the onset of the crisis, and it is estimated that Malaysia’s GDP will be worth more than $10 trillion in 2022.
The economic crisis has led to an increase in unemployment and joblessness, which has seen more than one million people lose their jobs since the crisis began.
The country’s economy is also struggling to cope with a severe shortage of money, with banks not lending as much as they normally do.
There has been a huge drop in foreign direct investment into Malaysia, which was down more than 70 per, per cent in 2015, according to research by Deloitte Malaysia.
Malaysial Commercial Bank has been forced to suspend bank deposits and withdrawals and the government has been struggling to manage the crisis.
However, the Malaysian Government has announced a $25 billion injection of funds to prop up the economy through a bond auction in November.
Mr Rahman said Malaysia has a long way to go in achieving its goal of becoming a global banking centre, and the country needs to invest more to reach its goal.
He said a new generation of leaders need to be in place to help the economy grow, as well as to promote the industry and its products.
“This is a very challenging time for the business sector in Malaysia,” he added.
The ABC’s Daniel McAllister reports from Kuala Lumpur.