Malaysia in 2016: Visions and Vulnerabilities



( – by Sue-Anne Lim, Chief of Group Insights & Strategy, Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia

Only 4 years away from Malaysia’s Vision 2020, set by previous Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir to be a developed high-income nation, 2016 will continue to be rocky for Malaysia.

This is not just due to a scandal-plague domestic front but also in accordance to headwinds posed by the larger state of global economy.

The Economist predicts that 2016 will be a year of strength for developed markets as America continues to pour out millions of job opportunities, moving into hyperspace mode in tech innovations; start-up or not.

While a post-Greece-fiasco Europe after coming to terms with the refugee crisis, will experience a better-than-average 1.9% growth, returning luster back into a not-so-long-ago gloomy economy.

As for China, when she sneezes, the entire world prepares to catch a cold. And with no exception, Malaysia, with China as her top trading partner will definitely receive a fair share of viral symptoms if not careful.

Good news for us though, prices of metals, energy and farm produce are posed to increase so both crude oil and palm oil will once again be the nation’s saving grace.

Despite the vulnerability of global economy, Malaysia will once again emerge a survivor thanks to its natural endowment. But to move past volatility, the country certainly needs bolder and more strategic plans than just depending on lucky tailwinds.

A few major economic reforms took place in 2015 and two in particular will pose the most effect on local businesses which might finally allow us to see some fairness in the marketplace

Both the TPPA and AEC will open doors for Malaysia to greater economic growth and increased competitiveness if leveraged positively and with gallant. We either see a rise of highly competitive local SMEs to challenge the multinational fronts or the deaths of some businesses who rested on their laurels too early, too soon.

Likened to a game of chess, the door opens both ways – open markets mean a fair game for the strongest and swiftest.

Once the border is erased, the tide might turn to be less favorable towards businesses that have previously enjoyed certain protection without any strong competitive edge.

But we are optimistic in being able to propel national companies to be transnational ones as we’ve seen some early success in aggressive expansion ventures especially in the property sector in 2015.

The transformation mindset must come quickly and early with ready partners for successful market expansion and defense. If at all, this would be the perfect time for brand owners to reconvene and replot a much more competitive plan….

You can read this full story in the March-April issue of MARKETING magazine.

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appiesmalaysiasignoffAPPIES Malaysia 2016 Marketing Conference open for registrations!

‘2-day MBA’ in Marketing, ‘TED of Marketing’, call it what you will, and come what may, we will see you on May 19 & 20 at the Eastin Hotel.

•        36 latest Marketing Case-Studies  

•        22 marketing leaders as Judges  

•        3 top-notch Keynote Speakers  

*        4 Game-Changing Panel Speakers

Says Chief Judge Adam Wee Abdullah, Group CMO of CIMB Banking Group about judging the entries, “Clarity in the Objective statement is fundamental. If this is not clear, the solutions will not be clear as well. It is also important to juxtapose the expected outcome against the Objective statement so you can gauge if the strategies are aligned. It’s a bit like looking through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.”

Date:           19 & 20 May, 2016 

Venue:          The Grand Ballroom, Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Time:           8.30am – 6.00pm

To register, go to APPIES REGISTRATION.

Download full brochure here.

Or contact Ruby on 03-7726 2588, [email protected]

APPIES Malaysia 2016 judges:

• Abdul Sani Abdul Murad – Head of Marketing, HSBC Malaysia

• Ben Mahmud – Head of Retail Marketing, Shell Malaysia Trading

• Eric Wong – Marketing Director, IBM Malaysia

• Fiona Liao – Chief Brand Officer, Prudential Assurance Malaysia

• Jasmine Lee – Chief Marketing Officer, U Mobile

• Jauhar Munir Shaikh – FVP, Brand Marketing for F&N Malaysia

• Loh Keh Jiat – CMO, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd

• Mark Ng – ASEAN Marketing Director, Castrol

• Martin Soong – Marketing Manager, Fonterra Brands Malaysia

• Matthew Ho – Regional Digital M
arketing Director, Huawei Technologies Malaysia

• Nirinder Singh Johl – GM of Strategic Communications, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

• Noreen Sabrina – Head of Brand Communications- Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

• Pan Choi Yen – GM of Marketing, WIPRO-UNZA Malaysia

• Philip Whittaker – Group Chief Marketing Officer, Themed Attractions & Resorts

• Rizan Ismail – Head of Brand Management, PETRONAS

• Santharuban T. Sundaram – Group Marketing Manager, Permanis Sandilands

• Stephane Vilquin – Marketing Director, Campbell Soup Southeast Asia

• Syahar Khalid – Digital Engagement Manager, Nestlé Products Malaysia

• Vincent Chong – Marketing Director of Unilever Malaysia

• Zaki Zin – Marketing Director, Wyeth Nutrition Malaysia

• Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin – Chief Marketing Officer, Celcom AXIATA  





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