Venturing into new business and market frontiers like Malaysia requires extensive understanding of the environment in terms of the political establishment, business potential, legal and regulatory framework, and availability of resources, socio-cultural aspects and to an extent geographical position and infrastructural development of the country. The research and analysis of these key and crucial factors are important in analysing the potential and business environment of Malaysia. Malaysia possesses unique features and characteristics which are different from any other nation and it’s therefore essential to scan and research the market.
Geographically located in Eastern Asia, Malaysia has been one of Asia fastest developing markets in the last half century. Malaysia is among the “Asian Tigers” a terminology given to the Asian economies which transformed from third world nation status to middle income nations within a short span thanks to sound and effective economic policies. It has a sizeable population of around 28. 3 million with diverse ethnic composition largely comprising the Ethnic Malays, Indians and Chinese population (CIA fact book, 2010).
Similarly Malaysia is a developing nation with growing high per capita income making it a potential market for introduction of any business. The nation has well established and developed financial markets and excellent world class infrastructure in transport air and sea and moreover it’s known worldwide for the technology superiority and advancements. It’s highly developed commercial and manufacture sectors makes it a target for many international business. Malaysia has enjoyed a relative stable political stability which has been instrumental in spurring its economy and attracting foreign firms.
It’s also a competitive business environment with flexible legal and regulatory framework making it easy to operate business. Therefore it’s very important to explore and understand these aspects and others in detail to ensure conclusion and market analysis of Malaysia is obtained through in depth understanding of the market. This would enable the company to undertake its strategies and plans effectively and efficiently in Malaysia. The paper tries to look some of the aspects mentioned above in more detail.
Conclusively, In order to expand business to other countries, many factors should be put into consideration so as to ensure there is professional development of the business. Critical analysis, exploring and report writing is therefore important considering these issue and thus should be undertaken respectively. Introduction In business, the understanding of a given culture in which business is to be done and be based is very critical and thus important. With connection to these some aspects have to be considered so as to know where and which country qualifies better for allocation of such business.
These can be well achieved through exploring and analysing the business environment of a prospective country. For instance, Culture and cultural practices are very important and have to be understood in order to make sure all the selling strategies have been able to offer good fruits in the business (Sandra, 2001, p 58). This paper thus comes up with the choosing of Malaysia as an example of a country on which as the Business Development Manager of Australia have chosen with the aim of expanding business.
Therefore this paper discusses the critical analysis and the report obtained from exploring and analysing business environment of Malaysia which in return helps in determining where the country fits in the complexity of international business environment. Many factors should be put into consideration so as to decide whether the business will effectively run smoothly (Dunning, 1998, p 98). Country Profile Situated in Eastern Asia Geographically Malaysia covers approximately area of 392,748 square Kms, this is lightly larger than New Mexico in United States and a population of 26 Million people (C. I. A fact book, 2010) this is a sizeable population which can be viable for any target market and introduction of business ventures. In Malaysia Islam is the pre-dominant and largest religion practised by the ethnic Malays but the nation is a multi-ethnic society and has other religious beliefs like Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Taoism practised by the minority ethnic population of Indians, Chinese and a small proportion of immigrant labour force.
Ethnic Composition of Malaysia has around 53. 3% ethnic Malays, Chinese 26%, Indigenous 11. 8%, Indians 7. 7% others 1. % and Islamic religion has 60. 4% followers, Buddhism 9. 2%, Christianity 9. 1%, Hinduism 6. 3% ( CIA fact book ,2010) Its essential to know the ethnic and religious composition in order to understand the fabric of the society properly. Bahasa Melayu is the official language along with Chinese , English and Tamil are the languages used pre-dominantly in Malaysia and it’s a plus to have English as one of the languages as it makes it easy for transactions and communication when the business and corporations aspiring to penetrate Malaysian market are from English speaking nations.
The country is contained of two distinct parts which are separated by the South China Sea whereby, the parts, the east and west share similar landscape in that they have coastal plains which rise due to densely forested hill and mountains. Malaysia neighbours Indonesia and thus the two countries share some cultures (Carsrud & Brannback 2007, p, 54). This is due to the Indians ethnic community which is quite well represented in Malaysia and also it borders countries like Singapore and China.
The nation is well endowed with natural resources, good infrastructural development in communications technology and transport and a good coast line with proximity to major sea routes. Economy Malaysia transformed from a third world economy to middle income economy within a duration of around three decades and the nation shifted from being a primarily agricultural economic based to an industrial and commercial economic hub.
The country actively participates in international trade which has been enhanced by the shipping routes around its coastline and has well established manufacturing sector. Malaysia produces top exporter of manufactured goods, palm oil, rubber, petroleum and liquefied natural gas. Malaysia is considered as a newly industrialized country although not a developed one but on the way to become one and research shows its GPD per capita ( of around $14000) in the year 2008 was recorded high thus ranking the country 48th in the world and 2nd in Southeast Asia (Drucker, 2007, p , 23).
The nation has a GDP of $313 billion and an average GDP annual growth rate of 5. 9 %( Ibp USA, 2008, p. 7 ) The GDP growth rate has been consistent over a long period of time and the economy has shown resiliency during the wake of economic crisis like the Asian economic crisis and recent global recession. It’s known for the developed commercial sector producing and exporting electronic products and other advanced technological goods.
Export market is $158 billion and its currency Malaysian currency (ringgit) exchanges at $3 (Ibp US, 2008 p. 18) The exchange rate of ringgit against major currencies has been consistent and stable avoiding currency fluctuations. Malaysia has a floating exchange rate although it has pegged its currency to the dollar. Similarly the nation is a member of almost all major trading blocs around the region and Asia, from WTO to regional economic trade blocs making it an open and very competitive market.
Political System Since Malaysia gained independence its economic performance has been high in comparison with other Asian nations due to its stability and has avoided military coups ( Nayland,2001,p. 164) Another critical factor to consider is the political system of the country. Politics and economy are intertwined and interrelated and political stability determines the environment which economy and business operates. The political stability of the democratic nation like Malaysia makes it an attractive place for investment.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional elective monarchy having a head of state is referred as the king of the nation who is elected to a five year term and a parliamentary system of government headed by prime minister and has a healthy democratic space with opposition parties Parliamentary elections are held after every five years and thus only registered voters of age 21 and above are allowed to vote for the members of the House of Representatives (Ahmad & Seymour, 2008, p, 76).
Legal and Regulatory Framework MIDA (Malaysian Industrial Development Authority) is a body charged with promoting investments activities both local and foreign, and to helped and guided investments in the business environment (Cheang Lo, 1997, p. 57) This is one of the bodies created by the government to eliminate the bureaucracy in obtaining legal documentation in the country by simplifying the licensing and regulatory process of businesses which wish venture in that country.
Although any business needs to go through the required government process in obtaining licences the government has created an environment where restrictions and licensing red tape has been reduced significantly. Socio- Cultural Environment The socio-cultural environment in Malaysia is well defined by its ethnic composition and religious diversity. Malaysia is pluralistic society with Malays being the majority and the other significant minority group like the Chinese, Indians and Tamils each with different religion. With such a rich cultural heritage, acquiring the relevant skills and cultural knowledge in order to conduct business in Malaysia is crucial to your success (Communicaid, n. d) the socio-cultural environment settings in Malaysia although comprising different ethnic groups and religious affiliations is a conservative society and thus it’s important for people to understand how to address the people.
Each particular ethnic group has its own mode of communication and interaction and it’s critical to ensure you understand the culture and behaviour of each ethnic group in Malaysia. Generalizations of the all Malaysians while conducting business may be costly to the business as it may be viewed negatively by other ethnic groups. For instance “the Chinese for example expect punctuality, whereas both ethnic Malays and Indian business people have a more relaxed attitude towards time (Communicaid, n. ) In regard to the consumer attitudes towards products and goods there is a general tendencies among Malays of regarding goods produced locally to be somehow inferior to the goods made by the developed nations which are advanced more than them and hence produce quality products. Quality is sensitive to Malays consumers. “ Malaysian local products are regarded with skepticism compared to south Korea products but are believed to be of high quality in comparison with goods from India ,china, Mexico and Thailand. (Ghazali et al,2008, p. 7)
Resources The country is well endowed with natural resources and enough raw materials which it has continued to exploit in its quest to develop its economy. During most of the 1970’s and 1980’s Malaysia was the largest producer and exporter of tin, tropical timber, palm oil and natural rubber (Vincent, 2005, p. 10) Although Currently, Malaysia is not a major producer of some of the raw materials like natural rubber it still has abundant supply of tin, timber palm oil and natural rubber which has been used effectively by the government in exploring and developing its economy.
Malaysia has transformed itself from primarily agricultural based economy to an industrial, technological and commercial giant due to the availability of human resources in the country. Malaysia has been known to be open in attracting foreign labour in its economy to make it competitive and potent. However there have been slight problems in obtaining and retaining skilled labour from Malaysia. “In contrast to this 44% of Australians firms reported difficulty in maintaining skilled labour in Malaysia (Nayland, 2001, p. 0) Ethical and Social Responsibility “More than 60% of managers in Malaysia were supportive of the view that that to improve market share and public image their firms would have to show there are social responsible (Harrison, 2005, p. 208) Malaysian socio-cultural structure is based on conservative setting like Islamic religious dimension on the Malay population which actually sees the aspect of giving back to them community is a responsibility rather than favour.
Corporations and business doing business in Malaysia are therefore obligated to be active in supporting projects in communities to uplift their image of sharing with the community the profits obtained from them. Conclusion and Recommendations Having noted some of the major findings and factors affecting the level of entrepreneurial activities from research that has been done, it will be necessary to agree on the need of making Malaysia one of the key standards of venturing into any fast developing markets.
Also, it is necessary to note that, some of the factors that affect the level of business and entrepreneurship in this country tend to have direct impacts on other economic activities and performances and they have been identified as positive and potent. Once all the factors have been keenly identified and outlined, it becomes quite easy to address them respectively so as to attain overall economic performance and development (Datamonitor, 2009, p, 31).
From the analysis and research based on political stability, economic performance and availability or resources the general picture can be concluded that Malaysia is a potential and viable environment to conduct any business of any nature. Although it may have some challenges and obstacles, the business environment and its market potential makes it a conducive environment to establish business ventures and has a potential market for growth. The nation is also strategically placed to penetrate other markets in Asia.
Courtney from Study Moose
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