KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is a favoured expansion destination for Asean companies looking for growth opportunities in Asean, according to Standard Chartered’s (StanChart) latest survey.
In its Borderless Business: Intra-Asean Corridor, a strategic report that explores high-potential opportunities for cross-border growth within the region, StanChart said 49 per cent of survey respondents selected Malaysia as one of the countries offering the best expansion opportunities in the 10-nation bloc over the next 12 months.
The report also cited automotive, healthcare and digital services as key growth sectors for Malaysia.
"The country has started making headway in developing capabilities to spur growth both in the electric vehicles segment and data centre supply.
"Malaysia is also seen as a leading medical device manufacturing hub and a regional market leader in medical tourism,” StanChart said in a statement today.
Overall, the survey showed that the majority of Asean companies focusing on intra-regional opportunities expect robust business growth in the region over the next 12 months with 99 per cent of respondents expecting growth in production and 96 per cent anticipating growth in revenue.
Access to the large and growing Asean consumer market, access to a global market enabled by a network of free trade agreements and availability of abundant and skilled workforce were among the most important drivers for expansion across the region, according to the survey.
In addition, with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) expected to attract more investments into Asean, all respondents said that they are planning to increase their investments over the next three to five years, it said.
Within Asean, Malaysia is a major hub for investments, being the third largest source for intra-ASEAN foreign direct investment in 2019. - Bernama