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GlobalCom’s market barometer: Malaysia

This week the GCPR-Blog team talked to Alice Yong, Director of WYSE Communications Sdn Bhd, a Kuala Lumpur-based PR consultancy and partner of the international GlobalCom PR Network.*

1. Which industries/markets are booming at the moment in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, the government has picked the following industries to spur future economic growth: Electronics and Electrical (E&E); Oil, Gas and Energy; Financial Services; Tourism; Business Services; Wholesale and Retail; Education; Healthcare; Communications Content and Infrastructure; and Agriculture.

Out of all the sectors mentioned above, the Healthcare industry is growing by leaps and bounds. From the rapid proliferation of private healthcare service providers to the latest Entry Point Projects (EPP) that are aimed at increasing the country’s Gross National Income from RM35.5 billion to RM42.2 billion, with over 260,000 new jobs to be created by the year 2020.

2. What makes Malaysia currently so interesting for this industry?

Malaysia wants to become a significant healthcare player especially in the manufacturing of medical devices in Asia Pacific in the near future and capture niche value-added markets in Europe, U.S. and other countries by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, the country will have to take a three-prong approach: improve the domestic market penetration, increase exports and move up the value chain.

Some of the EPPs announced by the government recently will involve working with like-minded partners in developing the next generation of single-use medical devices and establishing a high value medical device contract manufacturing hub and supply chain.

Malaysia hopes to leverage on its existing strengths and business-friendly policies for medical manufacturing entrepreneurs thanks to its cost effectiveness, strong electronics and electrical support capabilities, a healthy IP protection regulatory framework and easy access to Asia.

Currently five global companies have already set up in Malaysia: St. Jude Medical, B. Braun, Fresenius, 3M and Mediquip (Covidien). Growth in this industry is fuelled by an aging population, increases in healthcare expenditure and product innovation. Foreign investment funds and expertise are still highly sought-after in the government’s push to move the local sector up the value chain.

3. Why should companies from these industries start doing Public Relations in Malaysia

As with any other industry or business, it would take time to establish relationship, rapport and trust with the relevant authorities, industry professionals and end-users when the said business or industry player wants to enter a new market. Efficient PR programs would also come in useful for medical or healthcare providers or manufacturers that have yet to establish their presence and brand name in the region; to inform and educate target audiences on the company’s credibility, track record and how its expertise/technology have benefited the world at large or in Malaysia’s case, can help achieve its aim to become a high income nation.

* The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.

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