Press Release 2012

UOB Survey Finds Indonesia and China Top Picks for Business Expansion

SMEs attracted by consumer demand, rapid economic growth and language similarities with Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 12 December 2012 - Indonesia and China have emerged as the top destinations for Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) planning to expand overseas, according to a survey 1 conducted by United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia). Singapore, Thailand and India followed closely as countries favoured by Malaysian SMEs seeking to expand across the region.

The UOB Malaysia survey also found that two out of three Malaysian SMEs plan to grow their market base in the next three years. Of these, more than half plan to expand domestically (55 per cent) while the remainder will do so by expanding overseas (45 per cent).

Mr Wong Kim Choong, Chief Executive Officer of UOB Malaysia said that confidence in the medium-term economic outlook for Asia was driving many SMEs to expand their businesses.

"Indonesia and China have demonstrated resilience amid the economic uncertainty in the Eurozone and the US. The strong consumer demand and continued economic growth in Indonesia and China have been key considerations for Malaysian SMEs seeking expansion opportunities. The language similarities with Malaysia also make it easier for our local companies to conduct business in these counties," Mr Wong said.

"In recent months, UOB Malaysia has received an increased number of enquiries from SME customers exploring financing options for business expansion in Indonesia and China, especially in the food and beverage industry, printing and packaging industry, as well as construction-related businesses."

Indonesia is forecast to deliver a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.3 per cent in 20132 , which will be underpinned by fixed asset investment, government spending and private consumption. China is projected to maintain a GDP growth of 8.0 per cent in 20133.

Mr Wong said that in order to achieve overseas expansion ambitions, SMEs need easy access to financing, as well as expertise in setting up their operations in a foreign country.

"With our strong regional network across Asia, UOB Malaysia is well-placed to help our customers facilitate cross-border deals and overseas expansion. Our customers have access to specialist advisory services on country-specific regulations and company incorporation, as well as access to banking facilities in the local currency of the respective countries," Mr Wong said.

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1 The UOB Malaysia SME Survey 2012 was conducted among 450 Malaysian SME owners across multiple sectors to seek their views on business and economic sentiment, and key business priorities for 2013

2 Quarterly Global Outlook 4Q2012, "Indonesia" by UOB Economic-Treasury Research

3 Quarterly Global Outlook 4Q2012, "China Focus - Soft Landing / Hard Landing Concerns Linger On" by UOB Economic-Treasury Research

 

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