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Malaysia first choice for Asean companies

Malaysia first choice for Asean companies

Malaysia is the favourite destination for Asean-based companies looking to expand in the region, according to a new survey by Standard Chartered.

In its ‘Borderless Business: Intra-Asean Corridor’ report, which explores opportunities for cross-border growth within Asean, Standard Chartered said 49% of respondents named Malaysia as offering the best expansion opportunities in the 10-nation bloc over the next 12 months.

The report cited automotive, healthcare and digital services as key growth sectors for Malaysia. It said: “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.”

The survey found most Asean firms focusing on intra-regional opportunities expect strong growth in the region over the next year, with 96% expecting to grow revenues.

Free trade agreements and a large pool of skilled workers were among the most important drivers for expansion across the region, according to the survey.

Malaysia was the third largest source for intra-ASEAN foreign direct investment in 2019.

Asean’s 10 member countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.