Key Takeaways for IME 35th Anniversary ASEAN Economic Forum & Networking Gala

18 Jan 2016
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Celebrating our 35th Anniversary themed Partnering for Success, we have held the ASEAN Economic Forum and Networking Gala on 8th January 2016 at Pullman Kuala Lumpur Bangsar.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors Dassault Systemes, CNC Software Inc. and HP, our co-organiser Kingsley Education Group and SME Association, our e-Commerce partner Logon, our panel speakers, and not to forget, each and every one of our attendees for the tremendous support throughout.

Our objective for this event is to encourage partnership and collaboration through promoting dialogue and knowledge sharing. It is our belief that through partnering, our local industries can contribute as a whole in accelerating the re-engineering of our nation’s economic growth and eventually developing a better investment climate to attract foreign investors.

The event received over 400 participants, mainly investors or Top Management from government agencies, associations, various industries, education institutions, and banking and financial sectors. We are honoured to have had – representatives of MIDA, MATRADE, SIRIM, MIMOS, FOMFEIA, MFEIA, SFEIA, Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), MARA (Headquarter), Kolej Kemahiran Tinggi MARA Kuantan (KKTM Kuantan) and others – with us during the event.

Starting with the ASEAN Economic Forum, the event follows by a business networking session and the gala dinner. The forum featured presentations and discussions from four panellists including Datuk Phang Ah Tong, Deputy CEO of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Mr. Jayant Menon, Lead Economist from the Office for Regional Economic Integration at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Dr. Yeah Kim Leng, Vice President of Malaysian Economic Association (MEA) and the Business School Dean of Malaysian University of Science and Technology (M.U.S.T), and Mr. Ong Chee Tat, the National Deputy President of SME Association of Malaysia.

It has provided the audience with insights of what the mega-regionals such as ASEAN Economy Community (AEC), RCEP and TPP are all about. The panellists discussed relevant issues such as Free Trade Agreement (FTAs) that are currently enforced, how these could affect the SMEs’ businesses in Malaysia, and also the opportunities lies within.

Mr. Ong from SME Association told us that there are at the moment over 640,000 active SMEs in Malaysia and most of these SMEs are not fully aware of the impact of AEC and other FTAs that are either enforced at the moment or being discussed. There is surely a strong need to create public awareness to the SMEs so that they can respond towards the changes that are coming in the near future.

We have compiled some of the key takeaways from the forum below for your reference in case you’ve missed it:

#1: Datuk Phang Ah Tong – Opportunities: Investment Outlooks in 2016

According to Datuk Phang, despite the drop in total investments approved in 2015, investments in manufacturing sector were not much affected.

As for the investment opportunities, Datuk Phang highlighted two main growing industries in Malaysia which were identified as high potential growth area under the 11th Malaysia Plan:
– Aerospace Industry; and
– Medical Industry.

Click here to download slides

#2: Mr. Jayant Menon – Mega Trend: Malaysia and the Evolving Regional Trade Architecture

Mr. Jayant discussed the achievements and challenges of implementation of AEC, by looking into the four pillars, namely,
(i) Single market and production base
(ii) Competitive economic region
(iii) Equitable economic development
(iv) Integration with the global economy

With the continual development, there is no stopping of the AEC from being set in place. Mr. Jayant suggested that this is a firm stepping stone for the ASEAN region to participate in the globalization.

Mr. Jayant also explained the changing trade architecture, with two other significant mega-regionals, namely the RCEP and the TPP which was recently concluded. He mentioned that Malaysia is the only country granted with the opt-out clause in the TPP agreement.

Click here to download slides

#3: Dr. Yeah Kim Leng – Malaysian Economic Outlook 2016

Echoed with Datuk Phang, Dr Yeah briefed that the manufacturing sector has picked up modestly in 3Q15 whilst the services sector has decelerated.

Dr. Yeah has also presented a table of industries and activities that are most benefited from and impacted by the weak ringgit respectively.

According to Dr. Yeah, Malaysia’s economic growth was likely to be at 4.9 percent in 2015 and 4.7 percent in 2016. The manufacturing sector and services sector will continue to drive our GDP growth in 2016 with positive contribution from construction and mining.

As for the CPI inflation, it is averaged 2.1% in 2015, but is expected to rise in 2016, peaking in 1Q2016 before easing off as the GST base effects wear off.

Click here to download slides

Companies are competing vigorously both regionally and globally. Being in the business for 35 years, we believe that strong partnership is the key to sustain in such a competitive dynamic market nature.

Here, we would like to once again express our heartiest appreciation to all our customers and partners for the continued support. Thank you for helping us grow, and keeping us standing strong.

More details of the forum covered by the mainstream media can be found here:

Nanyang Business Daily
Sin Chew Daily
Astro Awani
Sinar Harian
The Star Online
The Malaysian Insider

If you need more information on any of the above topics, we can be reached here.

Meanwhile, we have also captured some memorable moments of the event. Enjoy the video and we look forward to seeing you again in our future event.