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Why Malaysia is among Singaporean companies’ top choice for ASEAN expansion

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Singaporean companies hoping to venture into ASEAN markets are looking favourably towards Malaysia and Indonesia as their top destinations, according to Singapore Business Federation’s (SBF) ASEAN Outlook Survey, in partnership with HSBC.

Chief executive officer of SBF, Ho Meng Kit said: “The bulk of companies expressing interest to expand into ASEAN are from the wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, financial and insurance, information and communications, and construction sectors.”

Out of the 1,036 companies surveyed, more than nine out of 10 (92%) cited the growth potential of ASEAN as the top motivating factor for expanding into the region, with Malaysia being the top source of sales, beyond Singapore.

The availability of a skilled workforce in Malaysia is also key in attracting many Singaporean companies, especially with the latter facing difficulty in hiring Singaporeans for overseas jobs. A quarter of these companies (25%) cite the challenge in hiring Singaporeans for overseas placements as one of the major barriers to their expansion plans.


Furthermore, 70% of the companies said that integration into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has brought them more business opportunities, using the free trade agreements under AEC.

ALSO READ: Post GE: Malaysians more concerned about unemployment, job quality

Infographics / SBF

Photo / 123RF

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