KUALA LUMPUR: Business sentiment of Japanese companies on Malaysia turned favourable for the first time in three years, according to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Malaysia (Jactim) survey.
In a statement on Tuesday, Jactim said the survey, conducted on its 546 member companies between Aug 2 and Sept 22, projected that the business sentiment would continue to rise in 2018.
“Business sentiment hit a recovery stage for the first time in three years since the second half of 2014.
“The impact of foreign exchange fluctuations on business is diminishing and business sentiment of Japanese companies in Malaysia will continue to trend upwards modestly,” it said.
Jactim said the survey showed that manpower shortage still plagued the industry, with companies suffering losses due to the restrictions on hiring foreign workers.
It believes that Japanese companies in Malaysia could contribute to Malaysia’s 2020 high-income developed nation goal.
“As the manufacturing sector remains the backbone of Malaysia’s robust economy, Japanese companies are encouraged to expand their current operations and invest in this sector.
“Despite the incessant changes at both the domestic and global economic environment, the Malaysian government continues to advocate and promote the manufacturing sector with strong investment policies and strategies,” it added.
Jactim pointed out that Malaysia was far ahead compared to other neighbouring countries with abundant young population with good command of the English language, research and development (R & D), specialised personal per capita available and good social infrastructure.
“These factors have attracted the Japanese manufacturing and service industry to establish their operations in Malaysia,” it said.
As Malaysia aims to be recognised as an advanced country, Jactim emphasised the need to improve the intellectual property (IP) environment as a part of the policy to attract more R & D projects.
“We suggested to take further efforts to build an environment where IP rights are preserved and utilised from medium to long-term point of view.
“Although we observed that the environment of examination in IP rights was improving, we believe it is important to shorten the period required for IP rights by further nurturing examiners,” it added.
Jactim also requested for expansion of range for the goods and services tax refund and expediting refunds and the introduction of proper operations of transfer pricing taxation. - Bernama