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Thursday December 13, 2012

Indonesia, China emerge as top expansion spots for local SMEs

KUALA LUMPUR: ,Indonesia and China have emerged as the top destinations for Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand their operations overseas to, according to a survey.

United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd, in a statement yesterday said the selection of these countries was due to consumer demand, rapid growth and language similarity.

Following closely were Singapore, Thailand and India, the bank said, drawing from its Malaysia SME Survey 2012 survey, conducted among 450 Malaysian SME owners across multiple sectors.

The survey also pointed out that two out of three Malaysian SMEs planned to grow their market base in the next three years.

Of these, more than half intend to expand domestically (55%) while the remainder would do so by expanding overseas (45%), it said.

UOB Malaysia chief executive officer Wong Kim Choong said that confidence in the medium-term economic outlook for Asia was driving many SMEs to expand their businesses.

“Indonesia and China have demonstrated resilience amid the economic uncertainty in the eurozone and the United States. Strong consumer demand and continued economic growth in Indonesia and China have been key considerations for Malaysian SMEs seeking expansion opportunities,” he added.

In recent months, he said UOB Malaysia had received an increased number of enquiries from SME customers exploring financing options for business expansion in Indonesia and China, especially in the food and beverage, printing and packaging industries as well as construction-related businesses. – Bernama

To achieve overseas expansion ambitions, SMEs needed easy access to financing as well as expertise in setting up their operations in a foreign country, Wong said. – Bernama

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