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Malaysian small businesses invest in technology and creating jobs

According to CPA Australia’s eighth annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, Malaysia’s small businesses are experiencing positive business conditions - with many adding jobs and investing in technology.

The findings, from CPA Australia’s eighth annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, follow extensive surveying of nearly 3,000 small business operators in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and China.

In the release, CPA Australia head of policy, Paul Drum FCPA, said that while Malaysia’s small businesses reported weaker business growth than in 2016, the sector was still experiencing positive business conditions and was a strong creator of jobs in 2017. Additionally, he said that Malaysia’s small businesses were likely to create even more jobs in 2018.

Drum commented:  “More than a quarter (27.5%) of Malaysia’s small businesses added staff in 2017, reflecting strong growth for many Malaysian small businesses. A healthy 40.1% are expecting to add additional staff members in 2018.”

“Small businesses from Malaysia continue to be strong users of digital technologies in their business. Over half of Malaysian businesses surveyed (53.4%) earned over 10% of their income from online sales, and over 80% use social media for business purposes,” he continued.

Meanwhile, he noted that Malaysia’s small businesses would benefit from a stronger focus on new digital payment options, such as AliPay, ApplePay and WeChat Pay.

“Only 29.1% allow customers to pay through this new technology, well below China (65.5%) and the survey average (42.7%),” Drum concluded.

Meanwhile, Singapore was reported facing several challenges, including increasing costs and increasing competition. Singapore small businesses were the second most likely of the markets surveyed to identify both of these factors as barriers to their growth, and were likely to nominate staff costs as most detrimental to their business, followed by costs for materials.

Despite the increasing cost of staff, 26.6% of Singapore’s small businesses expect to add to their staff numbers in 2018, an increase from last year’s survey.

Photo / 123RF

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