Saturday, May 30, 2015

Indonesia a top destination for Malaysian businesses, says global poll

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 34% of Malaysian businesses owners are planning to expand their businesses to new international markets in the year ahead, according to the latest Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR).

“A total of 22% of Malaysian businesses with international ambitions last entered or are next planning to enter Indonesia, 15% other Asia-Pacific countries, 15% the Middle East or North Africa, and 11% the United States,” Grant Thornton Malaysia country managing partner Datuk NK Jasani said in a statement.

The 2015 study, conducted in February, covers over 2,500 senior executives worldwide. In Asia-Pacific, the company interviewed 423 business leaders from China, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand,

The IBR research also uncovers a worldwide trend for businesses to be spurred on by a “fear of missing out” (colloquially known as ‘FOMO’) than by a positive desire for growth when expanding abroad.

Businesses in the emerging Asia-Pacific region, however, buck this global trend.

The consulting firm said when provided with a scenario, whether the opportunity is framed positively or negatively, business leaders in this region are left unaffected.

“This contrasts with nearly all other regions where negatively-framed opportunities significantly boost the likelihood for business leaders to opt to expand,” it said.

The study also shows this ‘fear of missing out’ is most pronounced in developed markets, including Australia and Japan, where negative framing has more than five times the impact that it does in emerging economies such as Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

The survey also found that business leaders in the emerging Asia-Pacific region are more than willing to admit the role that gut feel or instinct can play in their decisions.

The report said that executives in this region are most likely to expand abroad simply because it ‘feels’ good.

Nearly two-fifths (37%) cite this gut feel as a key driver behind their expansion decisions, ahead of proximity to key clients (36%), and access to a key market (31%).

“This instinct is developed from many years of experience, overseas business visits, learning from the successes or failures of others. Where it differs from objective decision is that much less emphasis is placed on market research and statistics,” Grant Thornton said.

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