KUALA LUMPUR: The government will review several trade agreements such as Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to see if its viable to be part of the trade partnerships.
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) secretary-general Datuk Seri J. Jayasiri said as there is no trade minister yet, the review exercise is something definite to be undertaken by the new government.
Jayasiri said the decision will be reviewed by the new minister to ratify, citing that it requires some legislation to be amended.
He was speaking to reporters after the launching ceremony of the SEMICON Southeast Asia 2018 here today.
He added the trade agreements negotiations are currently still on going, and believed that the new government will be supportive of RCEP and CPTPP.
“Although 11 countries have negotiated for the CP-TPP, while six countries need to ratify the trade agreement to enter into force,” he said.
CPTPP's 11 members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
RCEP is a free trade agreement between 10 Asean countries involving Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
Further, Jayasiri said Malaysia's trade performance has been good for the last two years, better than expected.
“This year we project Malaysia's trade to hit around 5.9 per cent growth for 2018. Based on the first-quarter result, we are going on the right track.
“Our trade performance is also conditional on what happened to the external environment. But it seems to show positive sign and augurs well for the Malaysian export,” he said.
Jayasiri pointed out the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector has been the main player for the Malaysian manufacturing, contributing about 36.7 per cent of the total exports.
“We are generally optimistic that the E&E sector would contribute a large portion to our export,” he said.
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud said the agency garnered about RM485 million approved investments in the first-quarter 2018.
“The semiconductor investments are largely in Penang, both from local and foreign investors,” he said.
Azman said the agency intends to use the same incentive scheme under the Promotion of Investment Act.
“As the industry gears for higher technology, certainly we will improve the incentive to attract more high-technology project in the future,” he added.
Jayasiri said more importantly Malaysia should have more business friendly environment and supportive ecosystem with other essential for potential investors.
SEMICON is the region's premier gathering of the global electronics manufacturing supply chain with over 400 booths and 300 exhibitors participation throughout the three-dat event.
The event is also expected to attract more than 8,000 visitors at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), featuring three theme pavilions, four global pavilions and technology forums to address key issues in the electronics manufacturing supply chain.
SEMI Southeast Asia president Ng Kai Fai said the global semiconductor growth is expected to grow significantly for the next few years. Last year, the sector's revenue surpassed US$400 billion, a 21 per cent increase year-on-year.
“We believe the sector going to grow in this momentum to 2018, probably at US$450 billion and we project to surpass US$500 billion in 2019,” he said, adding that it was a huge potential for electronic sector in Southeast Asia.
Ng said it foresees the catalyst for the semiconductor to grow with the utilisation in Internet of Things (IoTs), artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle and cloud computing.
Source: New Straits Times
Giant Malaysian developer UEM Sunrise has all but sold out a $330 million residential skyscraper in the Melbourne CBD, its first project to "top out" in the Australian market so far.
The success at the Conservatory – it is 95 per cent pre-sold – follows on the heels of the sell-out of UEM Sunrise's much bigger Aurora tower, a 92-storey apartment tower in the centre of the city.
However, the smaller Conservatory project, with 446 one, two and three-bed apartments, will be finished first after the physical structure was completed earlier this month.
"It is certainly a big deal for us," managing director Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib told The Australian Financial Review. "It tells the industry that we deliver."
Around 70 per cent of the apartments have been sold to offshore buyers. Prices ranged from $485,000 for a one-bed apartment to $875,00 for a two-bed, two-bath unit.
On a per square metre rate, apartments in Conservatory sold at around $11,500.
Settlement is coming up in September. It is a process UEM Sunrise is monitoring closely, in some cases helping connect investors with buyers in a secondary market.
"We're also getting in touch with all foreign banks for the foreign buyers," Mr Anwar said.
"In the case of Malaysia we've been talking to Maybank. Maybank is going to help us provide facilities for the respective Malaysian buyers. We're trying to basically match them together."
Maybank has also stumped up construction finance for Conservatory, while a club of lenders – Westpac, along with Asian banks OCBC and DBS – backed Aurora.
The 42-storey Conservatory is at the northern end of the CBD overlooking the Carlton Gardens.
The $770 million Aurora tower is rising opposite Melbourne Central. It has 941 apartments and a component of 252 serviced apartments, which were bought by Singapore's Ascendas Hospitality Trust for $120 million.
A third project will be under way by the end of the year, after the Malaysian developer took over the Victoria Police complex on St Kilda Road and engaged architect Zaha Hadid to design a luxury apartment complex.
Not all offshore players in Melbourne have enjoyed the success UEM Sunrise has to date. Singapore's Fragrance is struggling to find buyers for more than one-quarter of the apartments in the so-called Beyonce tower.
A $154 million South Yarra project by Malaysia's Gamuda Land has sold 70 per cent of its units and is not yet profitable.
Mr Anwar will assess further opportunities to develop on their merits but is clearly bullish on the city's prospects as a population boom gathers pace.
"I like the buzz, the vibe the city has," he said, listing Melbourne's strengths in business culture, leisure activities, and education and healthcare.
"That's why people are very attracted to Melbourne.
"You can see by the number of flights coming in and how busy the airport is. It shows there is still a long way to go in terms of the potential of Melbourne."
MONASH University Malaysia kicked off its 20th year celebration with a heart-thumping, groovy party recently.
The event began with fun-filled activities in the afternoon for its 800 academic and professional staff and their families.
There were balloons, party hats, face-painting and henna art, as well as food served by local chefs. Satay-in-a-cup was a hit among the adults, while the children satisfied their sweets craving with fluffy cotton candy. The kids also got to watch movies on the big screen and mingle with heroes like Iron Man and Captain America.
The 1Malaysia Drum Symphony set the mood for the evening with its amazing fusion of Malay, Chinese and Indian drums.
In welcoming guests to the celebration, Monash Malaysia president and pro vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Walker thanked everyone who had contributed to the Malaysian campus.
“Happy birthday, Monash! It’s been a wonderful 20 years and we are going to have a wonderful next 20 years. Happy birthday to everyone who has contributed to Monash University here in Malaysia,” he said.
Keeping up the beat was the main highlight of the night, popular homegrown singer-songwriter and rapper SonaOne got the crowd screaming and bopping along to his tunes.
Spinning foot-tapping and dance-inducing hits was DJ Bate, who had everyone grooving late into the evening.
Established in 1998, Monash Malaysia is the third-largest campus of Australia’s largest university and the first foreign university campus in Malaysia that operates in partnership with the Sunway Education Group.
What do Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur have in common with London, Tokyo and Melbourne? All are smart cities, designed to enhance their citizens’ quality of life.
London and New York integrate and connect the internet of things better than the rest. Smart cities are evolving. A citizen that lives in a smart city wins back up to 60 hours per year thanks to technological advancements.
In Malaysia, smart cities offer significant growth potential, but challenges remain
Malaysia’s smart cities are some way behind as they are still new. That is not a bad thing as Malaysia has avoided the pitfalls of being an early adopter. Authorities can apply advanced technology and systems that already work.
It means there is significant potential for growth and improvement in these cities. By working with other nations, Malaysia can move forward. It is making progress towards an integrated rail system. It is working with the UK to develop a manageable and sustainable strategy.
At the same time, there are challenges to overcome. Analysts question whether these cities will do enough to help reduce crime. They also query whether the poor will benefit. Malaysia’s energy efficiency awareness is currently weak. The country lags behind other nations in adopting green technology. It will take time to catch up.
However, the commitment to the use of electric buses is a step in the right direction. Insufficient infrastructure and resources could also hold Malaysia back. The government must budget for the work required for smart cities to thrive.
Smart cities in Malaysia focused on addressing congestion first
Authorities must address rapid population growth in urban areas. Traditional techniques and management are inadequate. Malaysia needs to overcome traffic congestion and overcrowding. Other challenges include the lack of affordable housing and damage to the environment.
Source: ASEAN Today
According to CPA Australia’s eighth annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, Malaysia’s small businesses are experiencing positive business conditions – with many adding jobs and investing in technology.
The findings, from CPA Australia’s eighth annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, follow extensive surveying of nearly 3,000 small business operators in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and China.
In the release, CPA Australia head of policy, Paul Drum FCPA, said that while Malaysia’s small businesses reported weaker business growth than in 2016, the sector was still experiencing positive business conditions and was a strong creator of jobs in 2017. Additionally, he said that Malaysia’s small businesses were likely to create even more jobs in 2018.
Drum commented: “More than a quarter (27.5%) of Malaysia’s small businesses added staff in 2017, reflecting strong growth for many Malaysian small businesses. A healthy 40.1% are expecting to add additional staff members in 2018.”
“Small businesses from Malaysia continue to be strong users of digital technologies in their business. Over half of Malaysian businesses surveyed (53.4%) earned over 10% of their income from online sales, and over 80% use social media for business purposes,” he continued.
Meanwhile, he noted that Malaysia’s small businesses would benefit from a stronger focus on new digital payment options, such as AliPay, ApplePay and WeChat Pay.
“Only 29.1% allow customers to pay through this new technology, well below China (65.5%) and the survey average (42.7%),” Drum concluded.
Meanwhile, Singapore was reported facing several challenges, including increasing costs and increasing competition. Singapore small businesses were the second most likely of the markets surveyed to identify both of these factors as barriers to their growth, and were likely to nominate staff costs as most detrimental to their business, followed by costs for materials.
Despite the increasing cost of staff, 26.6% of Singapore’s small businesses expect to add to their staff numbers in 2018, an increase from last year’s survey.
Source : Human Resources
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s small businesses are experiencing positive business conditions, with many adding jobs and investing in technology, according to CPA Australia’s eighth annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey.
The findings follow extensive surveying of nearly 3,000 small business operators in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and China.
CPA Australia head of policy Paul Drum said while Malaysia’s small businesses reported weaker business growth than in 2016, the sector was still experiencing positive business conditions and was a strong creator of jobs in 2017.
Malaysia’s small businesses were likely to create even more jobs in 2018.
“More than a quarter (27.5 per cent) of Malaysia’s small businesses added staff in 2017, reflecting strong growth for many Malaysian small businesses. A healthy 40.1 per cent are expecting to add additional staff members in 2018.
“Small businesses from Malaysia continue to be strong users of digital technologies in their business. Over half of Malaysian businesses surveyed (53.4 per cent) earned over 10 per cent of their income from online sales, and over 80 per cent use social media for business purposes,” Drum said in a statement.
“However, Malaysia’s small businesses would benefit from a stronger focus on new digital payment options, such as AliPay, ApplePay and WeChat Pay. Only 29.1 per cent allow customers to pay through this new technology, well below China (65.5 per cent) and the survey average (42.7 per cent)m,” he added.
Malaysian businesses were the most likely to nominate customer loyalty as having the most positive impact on their business in 2017.
“It is good business practice to focus attention on existing customers, as it is always much easier to keep a customer than attract a new customer.”
“With high numbers of Malaysian small businesses having the characteristics associated with growth – such as a focus on innovation, e-commerce and technology – we are likely to see better results in 2018. I expect we’ll see an increasing number of Malaysia’s small businesses evolve to become large, successful global businesses in the next few years,” Drum said.
The relatively strong focus on technology by small businesses in Malaysia is flowing through to concerns over the security of systems, with more than half (52.4 per cent) of respondents stating that they believe it is likely their business will be cyberattacked in 2018 – the third highest result of the markets surveyed.
This concern is leading to action, with businesses being highly likely to be taking steps to improve their cybersecurity.
Source : New Straits Times
KUALA LUMPUR: Following the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 10 other Asia Pacific countries on March 8, Malaysia sends a strong signal of the country’s commitment towards an open and liberal trading system, in light of recent protectionist sentiment which is prevalent in a number of countries.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the necessary steps to amend the relevant laws in order to complete the ratification process and enable the implementation of the CPTPP as early as possible have already begun.
"What the world needs now is more trade and investment flows and not restricted markets.
"Malaysia believes that this agreement will help us to further promote our trade and investment agenda and mitigate the challenges of the global economic environment," Mustapa said in a statement.
The 10 countries that signed the CPTPP agreement together with Malaysia are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam.
"As one of the pioneer members who has successfully negotiated the Agreement ‘on our terms’, Malaysia should not miss the opportunity to grab the benefits of this Agreement and efforts to complete the ratification process should be intensified,” he added.
Despite the absence of the US, Mustapa believes Malaysia still stands to gain from market access to countries like Canada, Peru and Mexico with whom we currently do not have preferential trading arrangement.
"In addition to the market access, our participation in the CPTPP will also benefit us in terms of enhancing governance in a number of economic sectors, strengthening economic cooperation among member countries and promoting adoption of international standards," he added.
Mustapa said CPTPP will open up the door for more Malaysian companies to expand their presence beyond the borders of our country as well as strengthening Malaysia’s position as a premier investment destination – which will eventually create additional quality jobs for the people.
"The Malaysian public at large will also benefit from the increase in consumer choices on goods and services in our market,” he added.
The CPTPP was concluded on January 23, 2018 in Tokyo after eight rounds of negotiations which started in early 2017 at Ministers and Senior Officials level.
With the conclusion of the CPTPP, Mustapa said MITI and colleagues from other Ministries and Agencies will now focus the attention on concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation.
"It is our view that both CPTPP and RCEP will serve as building blocks towards a more open and fairer trade and investment regime in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and 10 other Asia Pacific countries signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Santiago, Chile on Thursday.
The Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the countries were Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
“Despite the absence of the US, Malaysia still stands to gain from market access to countries like Canada, Peru and Mexico with whom we currently do not have preferential trading arrangement,” he said in a statement.
“In addition to the market access, our participation in the CPTPP will also benefit us in terms of enhancing governance in a number of economic sectors, strengthening economic cooperation among member countries and promoting adoption of international standards.
“Malaysia believes that this agreement will help us to further promote our trade and investment agenda and mitigate the challenges of the global economic environment,” he said.
Mustapa said Malaysia would gain from the CPTPP as it would enable more Malaysian companies to expand their presence beyond the borders of the country.
The deal would also enhance Malaysia’s position as a premier investment destination and eventually create additional quality jobs for our people.
“The Malaysian public at large will also benefit from the increase in consumer choices on goods and services in our market,” he said.
To recap, the CPTPP was concluded on Jan 23, 2018 in Tokyo after eight rounds of negotiations which started in early 2017 at Ministers and Senior Officials level.
Mustapa said CPTPP ministers shared the view that, by achieving a high-standard and well-balanced outcome, the Agreement will strengthen the mutually-beneficial linkages among participating economies, boost trade, investment and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific Region, and create new opportunities for businesses, consumers and workers.
“In light of recent protectionist sentiment which is prevalent in a number of countries, the signing of the CPTPP is timely as it sends a strong signal of our commitment towards an open and liberal trading system.
“What the world needs now is more trade and investment flows and not restricted markets,” it said.
Source : The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: The Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc) is jointly developing the Exchange 106 tower at TRX (TRX Tower) with the Mulia Group and construction is expected to be completed by the second half of 2018.
MoF Inc had on Thursday confirmed its unit MKD Signature Sdn Bhd for the joint development with the Mulia Group and the costs would be borne by the two parties based on their shareholding.
The TRX Tower is part of the entire TRX development area which is expected to have a gross development value of RM40bil.
The MOF Inc’s participation in the development of the TRX Tower was agreed at the onset to only materialise when the project has reached certain development milestone.
To recap, MKD acquired a 51% stake in Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd – a company incorporated in Malaysia with a paid-up share capital of RM500,000 – in July 2017. The remaining 49% is owned by the Mulia Group.
“MKD has made arrangement with the HSBC Bank for a standby line to finance its proportional construction cost of 51% without any added premium by the JV company,” said MoF Inc.
In May 2015, Mulia Property Development Sdn Bhd bought the 3.42 acres TRX land at the price of RM665mil from TRX City Sdn Bhd.
“The sale of the TRX land to Mulia was done on commercial terms with no discount accorded to Mulia,” MoF Inc said.
The TRX Tower will have a nett lettable area of 2.8 million square feet space. Upon its completion, the tower will be one of Malaysia’s three iconic structure, following Petronas Twin Towers and Permodalan Nasional Berhad’s (PNB) Merdeka 118.
The TRX Tower is also set to be the 15th tallest building in the world by the time of completion.
MoF Inc said this was not its only strategic partnership in TRX development area.
It had also teamed up with Australia's Lendlease to develop the Lifestyle Quarter, a 17-acre mixed-use development area within the TRX. Lendlease has a 60% stake and MoF Inc the remaining the 40%.
The completion of the TRX Tower will serve as the catalyst for the development and construction of the surrounding commercial plots within the TRX.
HSBC, Prudential Insurance, Affin Bank Bhd, Tabung Haji, Landlease (Australia) have already committed to take up commercial plots within the TRX and negotiations are underway for other international organisations to participate as well.
The TRX Tower will be the crowning success for the Tun Razak Exchange’s synergistic role in positioning Malaysia’s growing prominence in the world of global finance.
Source : The Star
KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): UEM Sunrise Bhd has teamed up with BlackWall Ltd, an Australian public-listed real estate company based in Sydney, to explore leasing opportunities and identify potential commercial and/or retail developments for co-working space.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, UEM Sunrise said its wholly-owned subsidiary UEM Sunrise Properties Sdn Bhd has entered into the proposed JV with Wotso S.E.A. Pty Ltd to form a JV company in Malaysia for the purpose. Wotso S.E.A is wholly-owned by Wotso Workspace Pty Ltd, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BlackWall. Wotso is a pioneer in leasing of co-working space in Australia.
However, the proposed JV is subject to approval of both UEM Sunrise Properties' and Wotso S.E.A’s board of directors and shareholders, as well as authorities.
Under the JV, both companies will also jointly manage the operations for the lease of co-working space and serviced office suites.
Both UEM Sunrise and BlackWall will own an equal 50% stake in the JV company, whereby each party will subscribe to 400,000 shares of the company at an issue price of RM1.
The JV company will also enter into a licensing agreement with Wotso for the use of the latter's licence, operations, system and use of other related intellectual property rights for a fee.
"In relation to the JV company’s business, each party undertakes not to be involved directly or indirectly, in other similar businesses in Malaysia, for a period of three years from the JV agreement date or termination of the JV agreement," UEM Sunrise said.
The proposed JV is not expected to have a material effect on the group's earnings and net assets for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2018 (FY18), the filing added.
At 3.08pm, UEM Sunrise shares were down 4 sen or 3.54% at RM1.09, with 1.17 million shares done, bringing a market capitalisation of RM4.99 billion.
Source : The Edge Markets
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