KUALA LUMPUR: A majority of Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are seeking opportunities in international trade within South-East Asia and East Asian markets such as China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, according to a survey.
The joint survey by FedEx Express and the SME Association said more than half (58%) of the respondents indicated that they are looking at expanding their business presence, while the remaining respondents (42%) remained cautious.
“Over half (54%) cited sustaining sales as their key priority for the first half of the year, amid the continued impact of the pandemic.
“One-third (34%) of SMEs wanted to focus on enhancing operational efficiencies so that their businesses remain sustainable and operational costs are optimised. The remaining SMEs (12%) planned to adopt a wait-and-see approach in view of the changing business environment.”
Commenting on the survey, SME Association president Ding Hong Sing said Malaysian SMEs are shifting their focus to markets within the Asia-Pacific region, with intra-Asia trade burgeoning because of rising eCommerce transactions that has been driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For SMEs looking to expand their market outreach, there is a prevailing optimism despite the current intense competition in the eCommerce marketplace, economic uncertainty and government restrictions being introduced.
“We believe that there are pockets of opportunities within the eCommerce sector which will continue to experience an upward trajectory,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Conducted at the end of 2021, the survey, titled Levelling up the logistics strategy for SMEs in Malaysia, saw participation from 383 local SMEs, with the majority recording up to RM10mil in turnover in 2021.
Over 70% of the companies registered an average of 200 shipments per month last year through eCommerce activities, utilising a mix of logistics services to ship via air and land.