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Malaysia Top ASEAN Market For Expansion By Gulf Firms

Standard Chartered Bank says Malaysia has been named as the top expansion market for Middle East companies focusing on Asean

The bank said the latest survey for its “Borderless Business: Middle East-Asean Corridor” found that Middle East companies were positive about business growth in the region, with a significant 78% viewing Malaysia as the top location.

Key growth sectors for Malaysia in the report’s growth watch list that were attractive to Middle East companies were refining and petrochemicals, renewable energy and retail and consumer goods.

Malaysia has established integrated petrochemical zones that offered centralised utilities, storage services and a comprehensive transportation network to help reduce capital and operation costs for companies.

It has also emerged as a major hub for solar photovoltaic (PV) production and is a key market for halal goods as it works towards building a stronger halal ecosystem between Asean and the Middle East.

Standard Chartered said all surveyed Middle East companies expect business growth over the next 12 months, with over 80% of them projecting an annual increase in both revenue (82%) and production (81%) of over 10%.

A similar sentiment was shared in another survey conducted in the “Borderless Business: India-Asean Corridor” survey, where Malaysia was tied with Singapore as the top-three most preferred destinations among Indian companies looking at expansion in Asean.

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