Should weak export performance be a concern?

by: Prof. Yeah Kim Leng, Director of Economic Studies Program at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

Malaysia’s just released March export performance can be viewed from either a glass half full or half empty perspective. The glass is half full considering that total export value in ringgit rose by a strong 17.4 percent from the previous month. Likewise, the export volume index grew even more strongly at 19.1 percent.

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Should businesses worry about middle income trap?

by: Prof. Yeah Kim Leng, Director of Economic Studies Program at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

Of the many challenges facing the Malaysian economy, the middle income trap has become an overarching theme in the country’s growth narrative. It will likely remain so until the nation is able to cross the high income threshold that is targeted by the year 2020.

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Consumer spending key to economy’s resilience

by: Prof. Yeah Kim Leng, Director of Economic Studies Program at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

Malaysia’s higher-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.6 per cent in the first quarter has been accompanied by the further strengthening of consumer spending. Often referred to as household spending, total consumer spending is denoted by private consumption in the national accounts that show how the country’s income is used.

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Budget measures to spur investment, employment

by: Prof. Yeah Kim Leng, Director of Economic Studies Program at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

Like the snake-and-ladder board game, after a steady climb in the global competitiveness ranking to 18th position last year from 25th position in 2012, the recently released Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows Malaysia’s ranking had slid back to where it had been before.

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Look beyond Budget 2017 to boost growth, competitiveness

by: Prof. Yeah Kim Leng, Director of Economic Studies Program at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

The 2017 Budget that will be unveiled tomorrow has riveted the nation’s attention more so this year than before. Not only has the use of social media greatly raised awareness and participation in the budgetary process, but the broadening of the taxpayer base through the consumption-based Goods and Services Tax (GST) has widened interest on what, why and how the revenue collected by the government should be spent.

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SME digital economic outlook

by: Prof. Yeah Kim Leng, Director of Economic Studies Program at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

In Malaysia’s dynamic business landscape, SMEs can become disruptors, be disrupted or continue to operate in the business-as-usual (BAU) ways. For many SMEs, the BAU option across many industries is shrinking as new competitors emerge from within the country and from abroad.

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ASEAN at the doorstep of the fourth industrial revolution

by: Mark Lee, Senior Fellow at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

In 1971, the renowned computer scientist Alan Kay quipped that ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’. Approaching half a century later, we might have wished that inventors had not taken his call to action so feverishly. Both overwhelming and inspiring at once, ours is now a world of mind-bending possibilities in robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing, genome editing, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, energy storage, nanomaterials and neuro-technological brain enhancements. Hailed as the fourth industrial revolution, these interconnected technologies cut across physical, digital and biological boundaries, sparing no industry in its transformative wake. Transitions to new manufacturing processes of previous revolutions generally lasted 30-40 years each, from the first (steam power and mechanization) to second (electric power and mass production), and then, the third phase (digital automation) – in other words, we live in exponential times.

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Inflation dynamics and its effects on economy

by: Prof. Yeah Kim Leng, Director of Economic Studies Program at Jeffrey Cheah In­stitute on Southeast Asia

After nearly two years of low consumer prices and falling pro­ducer prices, their steady rise in the first quarter of this year sug­gests that higher inflation and price shocks will once again test the resilience of households, busi­nesses and the overall economy.

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