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Home  >>  Perspectives  >>  Post-Asean Summit: What Private  Sector Has to Say   >>  Macro Kiosk

 

Kenny Goh
Chief Executive Officer, Macro Kiosk Group of Companies

One of the main support that MACROKIOSK received as a growing company from the government of Malaysia is the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Pioneer Status. This status allows MACROKIOSK to tap into the vast information technology support from the government ranging from tax incentives, human capital, foreign investment, IT grants and the MSC brand association both locally as well as overseas.

In their concluding statement at the 14th Summit in Thailand, Asean leaders said they would welcome expansionary macroeconomic policies, including fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, access to credit including trade financing, and measures to support private sector ... to stimulate domestic demand.

1. From your experience and perspective, how significant is the government support for private sector?

Having government support is indeed important. One of the main support that MACROKIOSK received as a growing company from the government of Malaysia is the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Pioneer Status. This status allows MACROKIOSK to tap into the vast information technology support from the government ranging from tax incentives, human capital, foreign investment, IT grants and the MSC brand association both locally as well as overseas.

With such support and initiatives, MACROKIOSK able to invest more in areas like Research & Development (R&D), Human Development and Brand building. These areas of investment would not be achievable without the government’s role in the high-cost of doing business today. Therefore as a whole, I would say that government support is relatively important for the private sector.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore is already in recession and economists believe Malaysia and Thailand are on the brink, while Indonesian growth has slowed to its weakest pace in more than two years.

2. The stimulus spending plans announced by governments across Asean may stem the economic damage to a certain extent, but what should they do to revive industries with a focus on exports which are not likely to stage a major recovery until consumers in the West start spending again? Is boosting intra-Asean trade the best solution?

Over the years, Asean have significantly established itself as a friendly business community to both Asean countries as well as to the world beyond. With such reputation, boosting intra- Asean trade is definitely the way to go for ASEAN economy to grow and strengthening itself for not relying on just the western consumption of Asean products and services. By having such initiatives in place, Asean will definitely create a better place to live, to do business and having a much stronger government ties between the Asean countries.

The 14th summit marked the implementation of a roadmap that aims turn what used to be a consensus-based group long derided as a talk-shop into a single community of 570 million people with a combined GDP of $2 trillion in six years.

3.    Do you think this goal is achievable in six years? What do you think could be the hurdles?

There are a lot of growth potential in Asean and having such vision and roadmap for Asean is definitely a good initiative. I believe the stipulated timeframe is reasonable. As for potential hurdles, I personally do not really see it even though we are in an economic correction situation. This is because in every correction it will only lead and bring good lessons and enhance the business community for future challenges.

 

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