Malaysia

Our Navigator research provides you with valuable insights and opinions from businesses around the world. As part of that research, we asked more than 10,000 business decision-makers across 39 markets, countries and territories to tell us how the current crisis has affected them and changed their plans for the near to mid-term future.

Introduction

With one of the earliest outbreaks of COVID-19, Malaysia had a difficult start to 2020. But thanks to an early lockdown and a generous stimulus, consumer spending recovered before our 2020 Navigator survey went live. We expect the Malaysian economy to rebound sharply in 2021, buoyed by diverse exports, direct foreign investment in its electronics and machinery sectors, and an expanding digital economy. Balancing these positives are lingering structural issues, such as low productivity and wages in the services sector.

Businesses in Malaysia are coping relatively well with the current challenges

In line with global findings, over half of Malaysian companies are adapting to the new environment. And businesses seem to be less challenged than globally, with a higher proportion saying they are thriving and a lower proportion surviving day-to-day. Nevertheless, their expectations of future revenue growth have fallen to three-quarters of businesses from more than four-fifths in 2019.

Although the majority of Malaysian businesses feel that international trade has become more difficult and expect it to continue to be so in the next year, four-fifths have a positive outlook for the next 1-2 years, with the proportion of international business increasing marginally since 2019.

Around half of Malaysian businesses are focusing on innovation and collaboration, as well as building reputation and resilience to withstand future market changes.

Current status of business

Malaysia Global
Surviving day-to-day 14% 19%
Adapting to a changing environment 55% 58%
Thriving in the new normal 30% 24%