President’s Message

Tan Sri Azman Hashim
President
MASSA 


2022 was a tumultuous period for global markets. Many economies around the world continue to grapple with COVID-19. The prolonged Russia – Ukraine War which begun in January 2022 resulted in supply chain bottlenecks and disruptions, labour market pressures, rising inflation and market volatility. The climate change crisis continues unabated across the globe.

In this challenging context, central banks worldwide, including Bank Negara Malaysia, have turned to raising interest rates. The World Bank forecasted in its June 2022 Report that global growth would moderate from 5.7% in 2021 to an average of 3% in 2023 – 2024. Indications are that the world may be edging towards a global recession in 2023.

Bank Negara Malaysia reported that Malaysia Q3 GDP grew by 14.2%, highest in over a year, and predicts that headline inflation for 2022 had peaked in this quarter, hitting 4.5%, while core inflation was recorded at 3.7%. This growth was supported by robust demand for exports, improvements in labour market and income conditions, strong household spending, and higher capital expenditure. Overall, the Malaysian economy for 2022 is expected to remain robust given the strong performance in the first three quarters of this year.

Going forward into 2023, in spite of the of the downward risks posed by weaker-than-expected global growth, higher risk aversion in global financial markets, geopolitical conflict escalation and re-emergence of supply chain disruptions. I am cautiously optimistic that the Malaysian economy in 2023 will continue to expand, with Bank Negara estimating an expansion by 4.0 – 5.0% – driven primarily by domestic demand. Malaysia’s diversified export base, bolstered by opportunities presented by the RCEP and CPTPP, and Malaysia’s external resilience built on the nation’s large foreign currency external assets and well-capitalised banking system can help Malaysia cushion the headwinds and adverse spillover effects.

MASSA looks forward to working closely with the newly installed Government of Malaysia under the leadership of YAB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and to work closely with our ex-officio partners, MITI, Wisma Putra, MIDA and MATRADE.

MASSA will step-up its collaboration with associates in the business community and in the South-South regions to highlight innovative solutions and business linkage opportunities for members.

I appreciate the continuing support and cooperation of all members, especially my fellow Executive Committee members, and ex-officio partners with your attendance, support and contributions at our regular meetings & events and not forgetting the sponsors of our website.

I also wish to thank all who have contributed valuable and insightful articles to our Newsletter for 2022.

My best wishes to everyone for happy, healthy and successful 2023.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim
President
1 December 2022

Editorial

Greetings from MASSA!

2H2022 had been a busy period for MASSA.

In this December edition, we present a feature on the Kingdom of Cambodia as provided to us by our associates in the Malaysian Business Chamber of Cambodia (MBCC). Among the highlights of this feature include the impact of RCEP on Cambodia and a Summary of the Investment Incentives under its Law on Investment that came into force in October 2021.

In this issue, we report on our engagements with our domestic and international partners, which include the Selangor Biotechnology Coordination Office (S-BIOCO), the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI) and the Bangladesh – Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

MASSA had also participated and supported various activities which included the Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) 2022: Investment Promotion for African Countries organised by MIDA, Wisma Putra and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 – a three-day tech and digital solutions exhibition held at MATRADE Exhibition and Convention Centre which had included co-located events such as a C-Level Roundtable on AI and Robotics and the Global Drone Conference, and a Seminar on AI and Robotics at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.

As we come to the close of 2022, we are thankful to MASSA members, article contributors, and collaborators for their persevering support throughout this challenging year. MASSA remains committed to present to members, trade, investment and business leads from the South-South countries, especially when the pandemic ushered in an increased need for collaborative efforts at all levels and more so on the digital platform. To this end, several events (virtual and hybrid in nature) are in the works with our partners and collaborators for 2023.

We also welcome members’ initiatives to work with the Secretariat on innovative programmes that may be beneficial to members and the business community.

We wish all members and readers, a happy new year 2023, stay safe and keep well.

Thank you.

Ng Su Fun

Editorial MASSA

Business Chamber Country Feature: Cambodia – Kingdom of Opportunity


MASSA extends its appreciation to Okhna Tan Khee Meng, President of the Malaysian Business Chamber of Cambodia (MBCC) and MBCC for this feature.

 

MBCC can be reached at:

No. 87, Street 294,
Sangkat Boeung Keng Kang 1,
Khan Chamka Morn,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Phone: (+855) 10 272 688
Email: contact@mbccambodia.org
Website: https://mbccambodia.org/

December 2022 Issue

‣ President’s Statement

‣ Editorial

‣ Business Chamber Country Feature: Cambodia – Kingdom of Opportunity

‣ Diary of Events (August 2022 – December 2022)

‣ 22 August 2022
Meeting with Selangor Biotechnology Coordination Office (S-BIOCO)

‣ 22 September 2022
iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 Press Conference & Visit to MakersLab at MRANTI Park

‣ 29 September 2022
Courtesy Visit from Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCC) to the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM)

‣ 3 – 7  October 2022
Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) 2022: Investment Promotion for African Countries organised by MIDA, Wisma Putra and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

‣ 19 – 21 October 2022
iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022

‣ 9 November 2022
MyAIRA – Heriot-Watt University Malaysia – MASSA Seminar: “Enhance Your Value Chain with Robotics & AI: Solutions for the Manufacturing Industry”

‣ Forthcoming Events

Diary of Events (December 2022 Issue)

1) Meeting with Selangor Biotechnology Coordination Office (S-BIOCO) on 22 August 2022


MASSA represented by Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary and Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive met Mr Arieff Aaron Abdullah, Director, Mr Muhammad Hafizuddin Sanat, Manager and Ms Khaliesah Abdol Alim, Executive who represented the Selangor Biotechnology Coordination Office (S-BIOCO) Division of Invest Selangor on 22 August 2022.

The meeting discussed areas where MASSA and S-BIOCO can collaborate to bring together MASSA members and Invest Selangor stakeholders to avail to the emerging business opportunities in biotechnology sectors which include, industrial, environment, healthcare, aquaculture, agriculture etc.

From left-to-right:
Mr Arieff Aaron Abdullah, Director, S-BIOCO, Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA, Ms Nur Khaliesah Abdol Alim, Executive, S-BIOCO, Mr Muhammad Hafizuddin Sanat, Manager, S-BIOCO and Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive, MASSA.


2) iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 Press Conference & Visit to MakersLab at MRANTI Park on 22 September 2022


iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 Press Conference

MASSA as a supporting partner of the iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 participated in the organisers’ Press Conference for the show on 22 September 2022 at MRANTI Park. MASSA was represented by Ms Ng Su Fun. The panel also comprised of Ms Hanniz Lam, organiser and Mr Safuan Zairi, Chief Ecosystem Development Officer, MRANTI.

From left-to-right:
Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA, Ms Hanniz, Managing Partner, Best Events Productions Sdn Bhd and Mr Mohd Safuan Mohd Zairi, Chief Ecosystem Development Officer, MRANTI

 


Visit to MakersLab at MRANTI Park

MakersLab is an innovator’s playground to design & develop solutions rapidly through quick, affordable & convenient access to tools, equipment, space and expertise. Aimed to become the country’s one-stop powerhouse that empowers the community to gather, ideate, learn, dialogue, collaborate, & materialise solutions in response to real life changes. MakersLab offers services such as prototyping, consultancy services and workshops (https://mranti.my/mranti-park/facilities/living-lab/makerslab).

 

From the left:
Ms Nur Syuhaida, Secretariat, MASSA, Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive, MASSA, Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA, Mr William, Mr Ramesh Pillai, Community Engagement Director, Stem4AllMakerspace and Mr Daryl


3) Courtesy Visit from Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) to the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM) on 29 September 2022 at Anjung Melayu, Malay Chambers of Commerce Malaysia


The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM) hosted a delegation from the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) – www.bmcci.org.bd on 29 September 2022, at Anjung Melayu.

The Visit was chaired by YBrs Dr. Haji Abdul Halim Husin, President of the Malay Chamber of Commerce. The delegation from BMCCI was led by its President, Mr Syed Almas Kabbir.

The Courtesy Visit was held with the aim to renew ties with Malaysian Business Private Sector and also to promote their upcoming Showcase Bangladesh 2022 at Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

MASSA was invited and was represented by Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA and Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive, MASSA.

Invited members of the meeting comprise representatives of the NCCIM Constituent Members, which include the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM), Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (MAICCI), and Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MICCI), and selected representatives from the Malaysian Private Sector, and associated partners of the MCCM.


Group photo of the participants of the meeting:

 


5) Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) 2022: Investment Promotion for African Countries organised by MIDA, Wisma Putra and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from 3 – 7 October 2022


The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia (Wisma Putra) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) organised a Third Country Training Programme (TCTP), Investment Promotion for African Countries from 3 – 7 October 2022.

MASSA was invited to speak on the Roles and Function of MASSA. Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive, represented the Association as speaker.

MASSA records its appreciation to MIDA for the opportunity to speak at this Third Country Training Programme 2022.


6) iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 on 19 – 21 October 2022 at MECC, KL


iNNOVATE Tech Show, was produced by Best Events Productions Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation (MRANTI), with support from Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA). It was held at MATRADE Exhibition & Convention Centre (MECC) Kuala Lumpur from 19 – 21 October 2022. The third installation of the Global Drone Conference and the second edition of Global Future Mobility Show were also co-located within the iNNOVATE Tech Show.

The iNNOVATE Tech Show, themed “Innovation and Technologies for a Better Future” gathered thought leaders and experts to meet and to share knowledge on innovation and to avail to collaborative opportunities. This show served as a platform for companies in Asia to discover game-changing innovations to achieve business goals and eventually making Malaysia into a high-tech and high-income nation.

Day 1 Highlights

  • • Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony of the iNNOVATE Tech Show was graced by Dr. Nor Azlina binti Ariffin, Undersecretary, Transfer of Technology and R&D Commercialization Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) on behalf of YBhg Datuk Ts. Dr. Haji Aminuddin bin Hassim, Secretary General, MOSTI together with H.E. Diego Velasco, Ambassador of Chile to Malaysia. Ms Hanniz Lam, Managing Partner, Best Events Productions Sdn Bhd gave the welcome remarks.

 

Ms Hanniz Lam, Managing Partner, Best Events Productions Sdn Bhd delivered the welcome remarks as show organiser.

H.E. Diego Velasco, Ambassador of Chile to Malaysia delivered his remarks.

Dr. Nor Azlina binti Ariffin, Undersecretary, Transfer of Technology and R&D Commercialization Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) delivered the remarks on behalf of the Secretary General, YBhg Datuk Ts. Dr. Haji Aminuddin bin Hassim.


 

From left to right:
Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive; Ms Sarah Bakri & Ms Hanniz Lam, Managing Partner, Best Events Productions Sdn Bhd; H.E. Diego Velasco, Ambassador of Chile to Malaysia; Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary; Dr. Nor Azlina binti Ariffin, Undersecretary, Transfer of Technology and R&D Commercialization Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI); Mr Safuan Zairi, Chief Ecosystem Development Officer, MRANTI; Mr Koguladas Kamalanathan, Chief Assistant Secretary of Dr. Nor Azlina binti Ariffin, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) visited MASSA’s booth.

Day 1 Photo Gallery


Day 2 Highlights

  • • Business-to-Business (B2B) Meet Up Session

A B2B Meet Up Session was organised by Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA) and the Malaysia – Japan Economic Association (MAJECA). The Session was attended by the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to Malaysia, representatives from the Embassy of Argentina, the Embassy of Namibia and the High Commission of Bangladesh. Alongside them were representatives from Malaysian government agencies, InvestKL and Invest Negeri Sembilan, as well as Malaysian businesspersons.

From left to right:
Mr Wong Kok Wai, Vice-President, United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd; Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive; Mr Pranab Kumar Ghosh, First Secretary (Commercial), High Commission for The People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary; Mr Mah Chun Wai, Director, Investor Relations – Asia & Oceania, InvestKL; Mr Chong Soon Yong, President, MyAIRA; Mr Nurshazani Mustafha, Embassy of Argentina; Mr Jorge Oscar Abate, Counsellor, Embassy of Argentina; Ms Rucia Shali, Second Secretary-Politics, High Commission of the Republic of Namibia; Mr Auni bin Alias, Head, Investor Promotion & Relation, Cyberview; YBhg Dato’ Haji Najmuddin Sharif bin Sarimon, Chief Executive Officer, Invest Negeri Sembilan

From left to right:
Ms Ng Su Fun and H.E. Peter Vincent, High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to Malaysia


Day 2 Photo Gallery


Day 3 Highlights

  • • Visit by YBhg Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MASSA

YBhg Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MASSA visited the iNNOVATE Tech Show.

From left to right:
Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, YBhg Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President, Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive and Ms Phoon Thye Ling, Secretary


  • • C-Level Round Table Discussion on the Industrial Use of AI & Robotics

 

A C-Level Round Table Discussion was co-hosted by InvestKL, Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA) and Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA).

This Round table Discussion discussed case studies on how AI & Robotics can help to reach sustainable development goals across industries. It focused on reasons for stepping up international cooperation, the issues and policy domains that appears most ready for enhanced collaboration and the instruments and forums that could be leveraged to achieve meaningful results in advancing international AI and Robotics standards, regulatory cooperation, and joint R&B projects to tackle global challenges.

YBhg Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MASSA delivered the welcome remarks. A panel of experts from across the globe whose companies are based in Malaysia shared their experience, expertise and insights.


YBhg Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President of MASSA delivered the welcome remarks.

Mr Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli, Chief Executive Officer of InvestKL delivered the keynote speech.


The first session of the Round Table, titled “The AI and IoT Market in Japan: Spearheading Industry Innovation” was moderated by Mr Masaki Ishibashi (left-most), Co-Founder, Toybox Creations & Technology Sdn Bhd.

The panel comprised the following (from 2nd left to right): Mr Tozaki Toshio, Managing Director, Transcosmos Malaysia, Dr Darius Ngo, Business Innovation Unit Head and Mr Keiichi Sato, Robot Technical Center Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Sales Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The second session of the Round Table, titled “Embracing Robotics Technology can help SMEs increase productivity in Malaysia” was moderated by Mr Melvin Ong (left-most), Founder and CEO, Karuna (Sarawak) Enterprise Sdn Bhd.

The panel comprised the following (from 2nd left to right): Mr Jiin Joo Ong, CTO, Garuda Robotics, Mr Laurent Maillefer, Robotics Discrete Automation Business Head, ABB and Mr Jean-Bernard Boura, CEO, Pen Aviation.

 

Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA delivered the closing remarks.


  • • iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony of the iNNOVATE Tech Show also featured the signing of several MoUs and was witnessed by Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Ibni Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail. The MoUs signed include following:

1st MoU Signing by:

  1. 1. Mr. Muslim Abdullah Zaik, CEO, Aeronerve
  2. 2. Mr. Azri Hamzah, CEO, Visio Asia Sdn. Bhd
  3. 3. Mr. Mohd Faiz Alias, CEO, Juruukur Al-Mahabob & Co Sdn Bhd
  4. 4. Mr. Mohammad Azmir Zahir bin Abu Bakar, CEO, ITS Sdn Bhd

 

2nd MoU Signing by:

  1. 1. YBhg Dato’ Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Majid, Chairman, Koperasi Jati Merah (Johor) Berhad (KOMERAH)
  2. 2. Mr. Badzman bin Bhatin Director, Universal Marine Brigade Sdn. Bhd. (UMB)
  3. 3. Mr. M. Nordin bin Abdul Majid P.J.K, Executive Director, Reus Holdings Sdn. Bhd. (REUS)

 

3rd MoU Signing by:

  1. 1. Prof. Ts. Dr. Zaliman Sauli, Naib Canselor, UniMAP
  2. 2. Ir. Ts. Dr. Razaidi Hussin Pengarah, Pusat Kerjasama Industri & Agensi Kerajaan (CIGC)
  3. 3. Mr. Mohd Adam Haziq Fariz, CEO, Surya Biotech Engineering Sdn Bhd
  4. 4. Mr. Rathakrishnan Arumugam, Director, Lawi Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd


 

The Closing Ceremony of the iNNOVATE Tech Show was graced by Duli Yang Teramat Mulia Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Ibni Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail.


For full reading of the post-event Press Release, please find enclosed the Press Articles at the following link:

  1. 1. https://bestevents-asia.com/media/
  2. 2. https://www.globaldroneconference.com/media/


7) MyAIRA – Heriot-Watt University Malaysia – MASSA Seminar: “Enhance Your Value Chain with AI & Robotics: Solutions for the Manufacturing Industry” on 9 November 2022


Malaysia South – South Association (MASSA) together with the Malaysian Autonomous Intelligence and Robotics Association (MyAIRA), Heriot-Watt University Malaysia, supported by Malaysia-Japan Economic Association (MAJECA) organised a Seminar at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia on 9 November 2022 on the topic of  “Enhance Your Value Chain with Robotics & AI: Solutions for the Manufacturing Industry”.

Manufacturers face increasingly volatile conditions affecting demand, rising consumer expectations, labor shortages and margin compression.

IR4.0 technologies, innovations and solutions can help businesses navigate these challenges by streamlining factory workflows. Artificial intelligence and robots applied properly, can help to improve quality and efficiency in manufacturing, and provide additional benefits along the production chain alongside collaboration with humans to reduce error and improve process output.

The application of robots in repetitive tasks such as material handling, assembling, and machine tending have been proven to allow businesses to optimise the productivity of their workforce. Repetitive tasks are best suited for machines as robots have minimal to zero downtimes, high accuracy, and speed – enabling manufacturers to produce larger volumes of products in a shorter duration.

The enhanced optimisation, time efficiency and productivity offered by robots can nurture the overall growth in various areas from parts and components exports as well as domestic sales and production. This can be further supplemented by adopting digital marketing channels supported by Artificial Intelligence. Suppliers can better connect with relevant buyers on digital marketplaces and channel their products to these platforms to increase their sales.

This seminar was aimed at informing participants on the applications of Robotics & AI technology and how manufacturers can leverage these technologies and solutions to increase productivity and increase business-to-business (B2B) sales.


The programme of the Seminar was as follows:

2.00 pm ━ Registration
2.30 pm ━ Opening Remarks by Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA & MAJECA
2.35 pm ━ Opening Remarks by Mr Yong Chong Soon, President, MyAIRA
2.40 pm ━ Opening Remarks by Prof. Dr. Ian Tan, Head, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
2.45 pm ━ “AI and Robotics to Increase Productivity in Manufacturing” by Mr Stanley Chong, Advisory Team, AI Centric Solutions Sdn Bhd & Partner, Ingenious Haus Group
3.00 pm ━ “B2B Digital Marketing to Increase Sales for Manufacturers” by Ms Caroline Ang, Growth Catalyst, Dcontenssa Strategic Consultancy
3.15 pm ━ Q & A
3.30 pm ━ Networking Tea & Refreshments. Adjourn.


The Seminar began with Opening Remarks by the organisers:

Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary of MASSA and MAJECA.

Mr Yong Chong Soon, President of MyAIRA

Prof. Dr. Ian Tan, Head, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

The Seminar featured two presentations as follows:

Mr Stanley Chong, Advisory Team, AI Centric Solutions Sdn Bhd & Partner, Ingenious Haus Group delivered his presentation titled “AI and Robotics to Increase Productivity in Manufacturing”.

Ms Caroline Ang, Growth Catalyst, Dcontenssa Strategic Consultancy delivered her presentation titled “B2B Digital Marketing to Increase Sales for Manufacturers.


Photo Gallery:

A group photo of the role-players of the Seminar.

From left to right: Mr Stanley Chong, Advisory Team, AI Centric Solutions Sdn Bhd & Partner, Ingenious Haus Group; Ms Caroline Ang, Growth Catalyst, Dcontenssa Strategic Consultancy; Mr Yong Chong Soon, President of MyAIRA; Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA; Prof. Dr. Ian Tan, Head, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia; Ms Jamie Chan Siew Fen, Manager, Career and Graduates Future, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.

A live-demonstration of a “Follow Me” robot.

 

 

2022 August Issue

‣ President’s Statement

‣ Editorial

‣ Country Feature: Mauritius

Message of Chairman of the Economic Development Board of Mauritius

– Mauritius: A Thriving Economic Powerhouse

– Mauritius: Your Preferred Business Destination

‣ Diary of Events (April 2022 – August 2022)

‣ 26 April 2022
Malaysia – China (Guangxi) Investment Forum 2022

‣ 9 June 2022
Bangladesh – Malaysia Collaboration Meeting

‣ 22 June 2022
31st Annual General Meeting of MASSA

‣ 9 August 2022
MASSA-EXIM Bank Coordination Meeting

‣ 12 August 2022
Malaysia – China (Chongqing) Investment Forum 2022

‣ Forthcoming Events

Editorial

Greetings from MASSA!

In this August edition of our newsletter, we present readers with a country feature on the Republic of Mauritius. We want to thank the Mauritius High Commission and the Economic Development Board of Mauritius for the Message from the Chairman of the Economic Development Board of Mauritius, and two articles titled, “Mauritius A Thriving Economic Powerhouse” and “Mauritius Your Preferred Business Destination” which shares with readers the latest facts and business, trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius. We look forward to more business engagements between our members in Malaysia and partners in the South-South region with Mauritius.

In this issue of the Newsletter, we report on two Malaysia – China Investment Forums organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Malaysia, namely, the Malaysia – China (Guangxi) Investment Forum 2022 on 26 April 2022 and the Malaysia – China (Chongqing) Investment Forum 2022 on 12 August 2022. Members may contact MATRADE Officers based in Chengdu City (with coverage of Chongqing, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan & Xinjiang) and Guangdong Province (with coverage of Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan & Jiangxi).

On 22 June 2022, MASSA held its 31st Annual General Meeting (AGM) in a hybrid format, and the 2021 – 2022 Annual Report is enclosed with the report on the AGM. As the country moves into the endemic phase of the COVID pandemic, MASSA will endeavour to resume its Face-to-Face activities and to renew its acquaintances with the offices of the High Commissions and Embassies of the developing countries based in Malaysia. MASSA connected with the Bangladesh – Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) and the Export-Import Bank of Malaysia (EXIM Bank) on 9 June 2022 and 9 August 2022 respectively, to discuss areas for collaboration in light of the re-opening of borders and the gradual resumption of business activities and engagements in-person.

To that end, several events to keep an eye out for are in the works, in particular, we wish to highlight the upcoming iNNOVATE Tech Show 2022 which is supported by MASSA. Do look out from our weekly Circulars and postings in our website www.massa.net.my.

We thank members, our article contributors and partners for your support to date and look forward to your participation in MASSA’s coming events.

Thank you.

Ng Su Fun

Editorial MASSA

President’s Message

Tan Sri Azman Hashim
President
MASSA 


The first half of 2022 began with a rocky start, but as the year progressed, the gradual acclimatisation of the world to the new normal of an endemic COVID saw various encouraging developments. Global growth continued to moderate in the second quarter of the year as a result of the slowdown in major economies, with the IMF projecting 2.9% for 2022 and 3.0% in 2023.

Bank Negara Malaysia had reported that the Malaysian economy in 2Q 2022 recorded an accelerated expansion of 8.9% supported by the reopening of borders, recovery of the consumer-related subsectors, labour market improvements, strong expansion in business-related activities supported by the Government’s policy assistance. Malaysia’s integration into the global value chain and the country’s adaptability had played a key role in trade recovery while its well-developed manufacturing ecosystem had managed to gradually transition and diversify from assembly to value-added activities and R&D activities thus maintaining the country’s strong external demand. This was seen across the economy as businesses adapted to the pandemic and adopted varying degrees of digitalisation to continue their operations on online platforms.

While economic growth is gaining momentum and private sector dynamism is clearly back on track, expectations remain cautiously optimistic as the positive macro indicators are tempered by various risks that can potentially derail the global recovery process. High commodity prices, monetary policy tightening, rising geopolitical tensions, growing financial instability, and in particular, the worsening food insecurity resulting from the devastating impact of climate change, had led to a greater strain on the already stretched thin supply chain. These factors, in turn, have triggered an increase in the volatility of global financial market conditions. Malaysia’s core inflation, increased 0.8% from 1.7% as at 1Q 2022. This trend is expected to continue in 2022.

This post-pandemic era presents the ever-growing need for economies and businesses to accelerate their transition towards the green and sustainability agenda, and adopting a circular economy with a greater focus to ‘build back better’. The implementation of the Government Green Procurement policy and the provision of alternative financing such as green sukuk are encouraging developments in this direction.

The Malaysian Government had also introduced various strategies and initiatives, which included the National Investment Aspirations (NIA), the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint and the National Trade Blueprint 2022 – 2025 to speed up digitalisation, revitalising quality investments and developing a future-ready workforce with the proper skillset to maintain the country’s trade competitiveness and investment attractiveness.

MASSA held its 31st Annual General Meeting on a hybrid basis on 22 June 2022. I would like to thank the Office Bearers and Executive Committee Members who continue to serve the Association till 2023.

I appreciate the continuing support of all Members with your involvement at our regular meetings, events and webinars. I also wish to thank article and feature contributors from across the MASSA network, who have provided valuable and insightful articles for our newsletters and not forgetting the sponsors of our website.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim
President
25 August 2022

Country Feature: Mauritius

Country Feature: Mauritius


Message of Mr. Hemraj Ramnial, CSK, Chairman of the Economic Development Board of Mauritius


Dear Readers,

It is an immense pleasure for the Economic Development Board of Mauritius (EDB) to associate itself with MASSA-MASSCORP, an eminent organization nurturing investment and trade relations between Mauritius and Malaysia for more than two decades.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1987, Mauritius and Malaysia have always maintained excellent diplomatic and cultural ties. This is attested by the DTAA between the two countries that came into force in 1993. Additionally, Malaysia is one of the major tertiary education hubs for several hundreds of Mauritian students. Besides, Mauritius and Malaysia both possess the same intrinsic human values of liberty, social support, democracy and economic prosperity.

Mauritius as a destination for trade and investment                         

The EDB’s role is to promote Mauritius as an attractive investment and business centre, a competitive export platform as well as an International Financial Centre (IFC). Furthermore, the EDB also acts as the leading institution responsible for country branding for investment promotion and facilitate both inward and outward investment and ensure a conducive business environment for doing business which guarantees predictability, certainty and security.

Over the years, Mauritius has established itself as a secured, trusted and cost effective International Financial jurisdiction, ideal to act as an intermediary platform for structuring financing across Africa. To that end, the Government of Mauritius has spared no effort to maintain our rank as the leading African country in terms of the ease of doing business environment.

Despite the current economic situation, the EDB has been facilitating more than 200 local and foreign investment projects to the tune of USD 6 billion. Furthermore, considering the global economic uncertainty, whereby trade and investment in traditional markets are becoming more challenging, the EDB set up an office in Singapore in November 2019 to spearhead market development initiatives in the ASEAN region and reduce our economic dependency on Europe. The Look East Strategy of Mauritius is the general reference for our market development initiatives in Japan, China and Singapore and servicing Malaysia through the Singapore office.

The advantages that Mauritius offers are many.

On the investment side, there is a wide range of business opportunities for investors in established sectors like real estate and hospitality, ICT/BPO, manufacturing, agriculture, freeport and financial services or emerging sectors like renewable energy, pharma and biotechnology. This forms part of a well anchored diversification strategy to usher in a new era of development and accelerate the transition of Mauritius into an innovation-driven economy. Several incentives have been put in place to enable the development of the aforementioned sectors.

The Mauritius International Financial Centre

Mauritius is a beacon of political, social and economic stability. With its wide network of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs), Mauritius is also home to leading arbitral institutions such as the Mauritius International Arbitration Centre, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and the MCCI Arbitration and Mediation Centre (MARC). Strategically located at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe, Mauritius is the dispute resolution platform for Africa. 

These have helped Mauritius forge a reputation as a safe, trusted, and competitive financial centre supported by robust institutional arrangements and good governance. This is evident in the growing relevance of the Mauritius International Financial Centre (MIFC), serving as a conduit for driving investment to Africa. As at end June 2022, there were 966 global funds incorporated in Mauritius including private equity funds. Moreover, the value of outward investment structured through global business companies from Mauritius to Africa amounted to more than USD 42 billion as at end June 2021.

According to a report by Capital Economics, USD 82 billion of foreign investment is mediated through Mauritius into mainland Africa. It is on the OECD’s whitelist of jurisdictions that have substantially implemented internationally agreed tax standards and have also been adhering to compliance regulations and is one of only two countries in Africa with an investment grade with regards to Moody’s credit score rating.

Over the years, successive Governments have adopted bold policies to develop new economic pillars, foster a conducive business environment and establish good governance practices, thus laying the foundations for attracting higher levels of foreign investment. These measures have contributed to positioning the country as the number one destination for doing business in Africa, and Mauritius is set among the top 13 performers on the World Bank Doing Business Index. In addition, Mauritius also fares well on several international indices such as the Global Competitiveness Report, Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance and Economic Freedom Index, to name a few. 

There is a well-established connection with Malaysia as well. As of June 2021, investment from Malaysia to Mauritius via the Global Business sector amounted to USD 4,770 million through 101 Global Business Companies. Outwards investment from Mauritius to Malaysia was to the tune of USD 2,699 million through 65 Global Business Companies.  

The Mauritius Africa Strategy

The coming into operation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Mauritius-China FTA on 1st January 2021 and the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) on 1st April 2021 coupled with a myriad of bilateral and multi-lateral agreements provide Mauritius with preferential access to almost 75% of the world market. Malaysian businesses can leverage on this.

Mauritius, therefore, plays a strategic role on the premise of its strategic location as it serves as a bridge between the Southern and Eastern parts of Africa on the one side and Asia on the other. Mauritius is therefore ideally positioned to be the business platform linking Asia to Africa.

Residence Permit – Work, Live and Play 

Mauritius also welcomes potential investors, professionals, and digital nomads to carry out business or work remotely with the Premium Travel Visa, which allows an extended stay of six to 12 months. In addition, through the Occupation Permit and Permanent Residence Permit (PRP) regimes, investors and professionals can settle in Mauritius for a period of up to 20 years,

With the shift in the economic gravity from West to East, Mauritius is well positioned to be the bridge linking Asia and Africa.  Malaysia can thus leverage on the geographic position of Mauritius to expand its business operations in Africa.


Mauritius: A Thriving Economic Powerhouse


Mauritius: Your Preferred Business Destination


MASSA extends its appreciation to the Mauritius High Commission and Economic Development Board of Mauritius for this Country Feature.

Diary of Events (August 2022 Issue)

1) Malaysia – China (Guangxi) Investment Forum 2022 on 26 April 2022


The Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) invited MASSA and its members to “Malaysia-China (Guangxi) Investment Forum 2022” organised in collaboration with the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the People’s Republic of China. This event is held in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary of Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP), established under the “Two Countries, Twin Parks” initiative.

The Forum was graced by YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia and Her Excellency Cai Lixin, Vice Chairman of the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Selected speakers from Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China shared insights on the business opportunities in both countries, while the authorities from MCKIP and CMQIP elaborated on the investment opportunities and facilitation for business communities from Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China aiming to expand their businesses in both industrial parks.

 

 

The programme of the Forum was as follows:


Time

Item
 
1440 – 1510 hrs Leaders’ Speech

(i)    H.E. Sheng Qiuping, Assistant Minister of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China
(ii)  H.E. Datuk Lim Bang Hong, Deputy Minister of Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysia
(iii) H.E. Cai Lixin, Vice Chairperson, People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
(iv) H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr Sallehuddin bin Ishak, Pahang State Secretary
(v)  YBhg Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer, East Coast Special Economic Zone Development Council of Malaysia

 

1510 – 1535 hrs

 

 

MoU Witnessing Ceremony

 

1535 – 1630 hrs Theme Promotion

  • Presentations by China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park Management Committee, Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Presentation on Incentives Offered, Alliance Steel (M) Sdn Bhd, Camel Power (M) Sdn Bhd, etc.

 


The Forum began with speeches by various leaders of Government, State and Economic Region.

H.E. Sheng Qiuping, Assistant Minister of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China.
H.E. Datuk Lim Bang Hong, Deputy Minister of Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysia.
 
H.E. Cai Lixin, Vice Chairperson, People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
 
H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr Sallehuddin bin Ishak, Pahang State Secretary.
 
YBhg Dato’ Baidzawi Che Mat,Chief Executive Officer of the East Coast Special Economic Zone Development Council of Malaysia.
 
Mr Luo Zhanghua, Vice Secretary General of the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
 

 
 
The signing ceremony of memorandums of understanding between Malaysian companies and their Chinese partners were witnessed by the above leaders.

The forum highlighted the achievements of this bilateral cooperation under the initiative of “Two Countries, Twin Parks” between Malaysia and China with MCKIP being among the largest FDI destinations in Malaysia, while CMQIP attracted investments from around the world.

The forum underscored promoting investment and business opportunities through MCKIP and CMQIP, and highlighted the keenness of both nations to pursue further investments and expansions arising from the RCEP.

Further reading:

MATRADE Trade Commissioner:
Mr Mohamad Haris Abdul Latiff,
guangzhou@matrade.gov.my;
(Tel) +86-20-3877-3865;
https://www.matrade.gov.my/en/component/mymaplocations/guangzhou


2) Bangladesh – Malaysia Collaboration Meeting on 9 June 2022


The Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI) organised a “Bangladesh-Malaysia Collaboration Meeting” on 9 June 2022. The meeting introduced BMCCI’s new Board of Directors, led by its President, Mr Syed Almas Kabir. MASSA together with Malaysian Chambers and Business Associations attended the meeting.

 Group photos of the participants at the meeting.

 

3) 31st Annual General Meeting of MASSA on 22 June 2022


Tan Sri Azman Hashim (pic below), President of MASSA convened the Thirty-First (31st) Annual General Meeting (AGM) of MASSA at the Boardroom, 26th Floor, Bangunan Ambank Group, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim delivered his address and the meeting proceeded to unanimously adopt the Annual Report (which can be read here: http://www.massa.net.my/massa-2021-2022-annual-report/) and the audited accounts of the Association for the year ended 31st December 2021. The President thanked the Executive Committee and Office Bearers for their continuing support and MASSA members for their participation in MASSA events and activities.
A virtual group photo was taken at the end of the meeting.

Group photo of the participants who attended the meeting in-person
(left-to-right): 
Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, Tan Sri Azman Hashim, President, Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng, JP, Hon. Treasurer, Dato’ J Jegathesan, EXCO Member

 

4) MASSA-EXIM Bank Coordination Meeting on 9 August 2022


MASSA represented by Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary and Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive met Ms Vino Nair, Assistant Vice President II, Communications & Stakeholder Management and Mr Ronnee bin Osman, Senior Manager, Corporate Communication Department, who represented EXIM Bank at the Head Office of EXIM Bank on 9 August 2022. The meeting discussed areas where MASSA and EXIM Bank can collaborate to bring together MASSA members and clients of EXIM Bank to avail to the emerging business opportunities in selected developing (South-South) countries by engaging the representatives of selected Embassies / High Commissions based in Malaysia.

From left-to-right:
Mr Samuel Loh, Programme Executive, MASSA, Ms Ng Su Fun, Executive Secretary, MASSA, Ms Vino Nair, Assistant Vice President II, Communications & Stakeholder Management, EXIM Bank and Mr Ronnee bin Osman, Senior Manager, Corporate Communication Department, EXIM Bank.

 


5) Malaysia – China (Chongqing) Investment Forum 2022 on 12 August 2022


The Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) invited MASSA and its members to “Malaysia-China (Chongqing) Investment Forum 2022” organised in collaboration with the Chongqing Municipal People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.

The forum, titled “Explore RCEP Opportunities and Development in Strategic Sectors” was aimed at bringing together regulators and captains of industry from Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China to explore new investment and business opportunities in strategic sectors by leveraging RCEP and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor.

The Forum was opened by YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia and H.E. Lu Kehua, the Vice Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.

The programme of the Forum was as follows:

 


Time

Item
 
1005 – 1015 hrs Leaders’ Speech

(i)    H.E. Lu Kehua, the Vice Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government
(ii)  H.E. Datuk Lim Bang Hong, Deputy Minister of Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysia

1025 – 1035 hrs

 

Agreement / B2B MoU Signing Ceremony

 

1035 – 1205 hrs Presentations

  • Presentations by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), Chongqing Port and Logistics Office, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), and Administrative Committee of Liang Jiang New Area.

 

 


The Forum began with speeches by YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia and H.E. Lu Kehua, the Vice Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.

 

H.E. Lu Kehua, the Vice Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China.

YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia.

 


Following that, an agreement / B2B MoU Signing Ceremony was held and witnessed by the aforesaid leaders.

 


A series of presentations was delivered on the investment opportunities in Malaysia, in particular on the Northern Economic Corridor Region and the Iskandar Region, and on the investment opportunities across the sectors and areas in Chongqing.

 


Further reading:

• Malaysia, China Should Capitalise on New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, RCEP to Strengthen Partnership – MITI, Bernama, 12 August 2022, https://www.bernama.com/en/news.php?id=2110218

 

MATRADE Trade Commissioner:
Ms Nur Azni Aziz,
chengdu@matrade.gov.my;
(Tel) +86-28-6687-7517;
https://www.matrade.gov.my/en/component/mymaplocations/chengdu