ACCCIM President Speeches

2 Apr 2019

ACCCIM Malaysia’s Business and Economic Conditions Survey Report (M-BECS) For 2H 2018 and 1H 2019F

(2-4-2019,ACCCIM Conference Room)

1. Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to ACCCIM’s Press Briefing on Malaysia’s Business and Economic Conditions Survey (M-BECS) report, covering 2H 2018 and 1H 2019F.

2. I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak with you today about the survey findings based on an overall response rate of 66.3% receiving 1,027 returns out of 1,550 questionnaires, exceeding our target of 1,000 respondents.

3. This survey, which was launched since 1992 is renamed as Malaysia’s Business and Economic Conditions Survey (M-BECS) is an important source of information that gives us direct insights and use in our assessment of current and future economic and business conditions as well as an input for the preparation of ACCCIM’s engagements and consultations with the Government and relevant agencies on issues and problems confronting business community.

4. ACCCIM has been actively engaging with the Government and relevant agencies regarding the issues faced by Malaysian business community. We had submitted a number of key policy papers to the Council of Eminent Persons and key Ministries.

5. As Malaysian Chinese business community makes significant contributions to national economic development, the gauging and analysis of business community’s assessments and expectations about recent developments and the current state of the economy and business would help the Government, research institutions and researchers to assess Malaysia’s economic and business environment, supplemented by the official statistics and other private surveys.

6. Now, allow me to briefly talk about the survey results.

7. Faced with the unsettling external uncertainties surrounding the global economy and lingering domestic issues and policy transition, businesses were generally cautious about the economy and business conditions in the second half-year of 2018 and for this year though the expectations are that conditions will likely improve in 2H 2019 relative to 1H 2019.

8. On balance, businesses are of the view that the Malaysian economy would remain challenging in 2019 as there are higher respondents (32.6%) who are ‘pessimistic’ relative to being ‘optimistic’ (15.3%).

9. The respondents are cautiously optimistic about the economy in 2020 (25.7% vs. 15.3% in 2019) probably premises on a more stable domestic policy landscape as well as the expected improvement of the Federal government’s fiscal balance sheet in 2020 after spending rationalization and debt consolidation. The Government has pledged that it would take three years to restore Malaysia’s economy.

10. The survey results revealed top five factors cited by companies influencing their business operations and domestic business conditions are competitive pressures in domestic market; lower domestic demand; Government policies; increase in prices of raw materials; and the Ringgit’s fluctuations.

11. Against the above cautious assessment of the state of economy and business environment, ACCCIM hopes that the Government, relevant Ministries and agencies would pull their resources and work with the chambers and industry associations to provide a stable and conducive environment for businesses.

12. While we welcome government policies to regulate the business environment, it must be pragmatic and flexible with sufficient engagements and consultations with the industry before implementation. Policy certainty and clarity as well as good execution of policies are crucial for the medium- and long-term business decision and planning.

13. We hope that the Economic Action Council (EAC) would draw up actionable initiatives and measures covering short- to medium-term timeframe to address some of the pressing issues such as cost of living, weakening private investment momentum and shortage of foreign workers. Equally important is what is the growth direction? What are the new sources of growth?

14. Let me now invite Executive Director of SERC, Lee Heng Guie to present our M-BECS in more details.

15. We will take Questions after the briefing. Thank you.

Survey Report


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