Date : 10/3/2015
Source : Daily Express
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has a tremendous advantage to lead economic activities within Asean given its chairmanship position this year and numerous liberalised sectors, says a former managing director of Proton Holdings Bhd.
Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohd Tahir, now Brainy Bunch Islamic Montessori Executive Chairman, said the country’s experience and knowledge could benefit its Asean neighbours and contribute to the growth of the region as a whole.
“Malaysia should take the lead, because we have many liberalised sectors, while some other countries are still waiting to do so.
“We can tell our Asean members that by doing so, we are able to help create healthy competition and expand economic activities within the region,” he said at the International Franchise Summit (IFS) 2015 here.
Syed Zainal Abidin, a speaker at a session titled Venturing and Expanding to the Asean Economic Community, said Asean members should stop looking at countries with a high population as a preferred foreign direct investment (FDI) destination, because a growing network has made that strategy irrelevant.
He said Malaysia would remain as an attractive destination in Asean on the back of its excellent financial system, strong support from the government, highly skilled workforce, attractive FDI policy and liberalised market.
Malaysian businesses wanting to tap into the Asean market should consider the services sector especially in healthcare, logistics, hospitality and the green segments, he said, but added that knowledge of a new market’s language, culture and market place, among others, could determine the success of their venture.
He said other challenges include differences in business philosophy, profit sharing, product acceptance, government approval and registration, as well as tax barriers and computations.
The two-day summit which ended today was organised by Perbadanan Nasional Bhd, and attracted some 400 participants, mostly from the franchise industry.