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Saturday, October 29, 2011

So many things are happening which would not help global economy to recover faster than expected. The uprising in the middle east and the abnormal climate changes which caused floods, earthquake and snow storm have affected the people daily life and at the same time has risen the cost of living esp food. There are many people who lost their jobs and struggling to earn a living.

Hope that economies all around the world unite to explore ways how to curb the rising of food prices which are a neccessity. Food security has increasingly becoming an important issue to address, taking into account the increasing number of people on the earth as well as the unstable weather that has caused destruction of agricultural farms and land. Need to act fast or otherwise one day more havoc to the social wellbeing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

It has been awhile since my last posting. Everybody is still in Hari Raya mood and the celebration will continue for the whole month of September. What I can see everytime Raya comes is that there are so many types of kuih Raya or cookies sold in the bazaar or market or even high end supermarkets and shopping malls. When I was small, I remember my parents will start making Raya cookies as early as the first week of Ramadhan or fasting month but nowadays that they have catch up with age, most of cookies are bought by the children that have grown up working and have less time to make their own Raya cookies.

My thought is that these Raya cookies shall not only target for Hari Raya but can also be promoted throughout the year as normal cookies that can be enjoyed by the locals as well as foreigners and tourists. These Raya cookies can also be exported overseas and I believe that with proper market research, Raya cookies can go beyond local borders. I have seen some of local entrepreneurs that able to export Raya cookies and this can also serve as another source of revenue for small and medium size entrepreneurs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recently, I attended a training on exporting business, specifically steps that a person needs to go through to be ready for export ventures. It was an interesting course with many new terminologies that I need to understand. All are related to exports, and one need to understand all the basic knowledge and terms before they can even think of venturing outside world.

Anyway, in international business and trading there are many challenges but at the same time there are also many opportunities. One needs to understand what actually outside market wants before they focus on particular products or services. Or the other way is that when one already has product(s) or services, where they should go.

There are more than 170 countries in the world, so they got to be some where that we can sell our products or services beside our own country. There got to be niche market out there where our products and services can be accepted. So, the internet world can help in gaining information about export market and which markets are regarded as potential for the products/services. Just google any info you require, there's a lot of information available. Use your own judgement and analyse the information before making up your mind of where to go.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Ringgit recently is appreciating against US dollar. It is already hovers around RM3 per 1 US dollar and may be already reach lower then RM3 by now. What actually does it mean when Ringgit appreciates. Economists have made various analysis on the impact of Ringgit appreciation, both good and bad. Whatever the analysis, we should view it on long term basis and on the practicality and what authorities should do to mitigate the adverse effects of currency appreciation to the economy and the cost of living.

For those who know some basic economy, maybe can understand the what actually the effects of the Ringgit appreciation. For international business and trading, Ringgit appreciation can mean import cost become lower but exports become more expensive. In this regard, businesses that rely on imported raw materials, intermediate and capital goods can now sigh with relieve since the costs of importing now become cheaper and this could help them to achieve lower production cost and result with better profit margins. Some analysts say that cheaper imports should encourage SMEs to be more innovative by importing capital goods that can help to enhance productivity and quality. But still SMEs will only consider innovating their production and processes if they have enough financial backup to import capital goods or enough businesses to cater.

For exporters, they may feel the heat from the currency appreciation, especially those who rely mainly on local resources or raw materials. Since exports are quoted in US dollar and assume that the export price remain the same, the revenue that they earn when converting back to Ringgit will be lesser now. Hence, these exporters need to consider options which can include rising the export prices which may not be accepted by their customers and which can make them less competitive internationally, or by being more innovative and productive to reduce overhead costs and maintain the same price to retain the customers and remain competitive.

For those exporters who rely on imported raw materials and intermediate goods, they are less impacted and may adjust the production cost and remain competitive.

Some say that imports of food and agricultural products especially that of raw materials like onions, garlic, vegetables, fruits and dairy products may benefit the exporters, wholesalers and traders. It maybe true to exporters of processed food who rely on imported food raw materials where cheaper imports can directly mean lower production cost and they either can retain the same profit margin or better. But it may not applicable to local wholesalers or traders of these imported agricultural and dairy products. Cheaper imports do not mean the price of agricultural products like vegetables and fruits will become cheaper in the local market. In fact, the wholesalers and traders can enjoy better margin even if they retain the same price, but the likelihood of prices of these basic neccesities to increase more in future is imminent unless local authorities take serious measures to curb price increase. In this regard, the cheaper imports will not make much different to the local consumers who are facing with increasing cost of living with prices of basic neccessities especially food continue to increase.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

There are many happenings around the world that will certainly deliver adverse effects to the world's economy and its sustainable development. Japan is facing the aftermath of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation. These incidents will certainly affect the country's economic and social stability in the long run. The government is still find ways to minimise the impact but it is still not clear how they want to do it. At the same, time the world has shown its support to Japan in any possible methods. The nuclear radiation is not only affecting the wellbeing of its people but also impacting the most important neccessity in life; food. There is now concerns over the safety of food produced in Japan, not only for domestic consumption but also exports. Many foreign countries have taken precautionary measures on imported foodstuff from Japan; some countries have banned imports and some of them have stepped up inspection on incoming foodstuff from Japan for the fear of nuclear radiation effects on the farming as well as livestocks. Japan is taking every possible measures to mitigate the risk of having foodstuff contaminated with radiation.

Middle East and North African's crisis have also shaken the world by storms with the uprising of the people demanding for change. This has probably never happened in the past where the protests happened in many countries simultaneously. The instability in the countries and regions will certainly affect the ongoing development in the country and will take long time to recover.

Mother nature is making its calls to all parts of the world. Earthquakes, tsunamis, flood, hurricanes, storms and others are taking places in many countries and these will interrupt the present development. But probably this is the price that the world has to pay for all the development that probably go against the mother nature.

One thing for sure all these incidences will bring about social instability in the region, it is just a matter of the degree of seriousness. Food insecurity is a main issue to handle, as the prices of agricultural products have gone up drastically in tandem with the price increase of energy resources. Countries have started to invest in agricultural sector, not only back home but also in other countries to safeguard the long term supply of food. All of us need to ponder and act fast to rectify this problem, otherwise the future generation need to bear all the problems that the current generation has created.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today is 1st May, a Labor Day all over the world. Labor is an important asset for the nation, without which development of a nation cannot be achieved. It is also important for nation to continue to generate new employment as the number of population keeps growing. It is a great challenge to offer employment and this requires more economic activities to be generated.

As for Malaysia, generating employment is an important agenda of the government under its Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) with New Economic Model and National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) and Entry Point Projects (EPPs) and the main drivers. Under ETP, the investment is to be led by the private sector and every EPP identified it should be able to generate high income for the country and also high number of employment.

Malaysia continues to prosper with its 27 million population. The economy grows steadily and there are still rooms for improvement. International trade, especially exports, continue to assume an important role in the country's economic growth. Exports flourish with new and diversified markets and focus on high value exports.

The recent China's Premier Wen Jiabao visit to Malaysia signifies the importance and close relationship that both countries have had, way back from 1974 when Malaysia established diplomatic relation with China. Malaysia was the first among ASEAN countries who established diplomatic relation with China and this displayed the vision that Malaysian leaders had at that time on China, that's going to be an important partner many years to come, economically and politically.

Malaysia should continue to explore opportunities to increase and expand its current cooperation with China, especially in trade and investment. Malaysia can offer not only commodities but also many other high value added products and services. One of potential areas is in the information and communication technology (ICT) industy sector. Though China itself is quite advance in this sector, Malaysian ICT players are also competitive and creative in creating new and niche technology and solutions. Certainly they can work with other local players in China  and target less competitive markets in second and third tier cities in China.

China is flourishing and consumers' purchasing power is increasing. Consumers are looking for imported products that they regard are of high quality and different from what the local can offer. This is another factor that Malaysian exporters should consider and put up efforts to penetrate the huge consumers market.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Malaysia is a small country with 28 million population but it is one of the world's top 20 trading nation. Exports have become one of the important revenues that contribute significantly to the country's Gross Domestic Product and directly benefit people that deal with export business.

There are a wide range of products and services that Malaysia can offer, from traditional products like food and beverage, rubber, palm and timber products to high tech products and services like oil and gas, electrical and electronics, green technology, professional services and many others.

I am keen in food and beverage industry as this sector is regarded as recession-proof and people still spend for basic necessities to live. Though I am not directly involved in the production, but having connections and interactions with producers enable me to understand the process and operations of the food and beverage sector.

One of the products that is quite special to Malaysia is white coffee. There are increasing number of producers that involve in this instant drink that has become a new trend in Malaysia, not only to local folks but also to expatriates and foreigners that visit Malaysia. White coffee is a special drink that made up from several types of coffee beans and add with other oil-palm based ingredients that give special taste and aroma. The increasing number of 'kopi tiam' style cafe in Malaysia are also influenced by the popularity of white coffee.

I am assisting several producers of white coffee to promote and market their instant white coffee not only to local market but more importantly to overseas market. As this white coffee is specially linked to Malaysia, many foreigners also spread their good experiences back at their home country and this is where gradually white coffee is accepted in overseas market.

Beside white coffee, other instant drink coffee like tongkat ali coffee is also gaining popularity and well accepted abroad. Tongkat ali is well known for its vitality and many people take it to maintain good health.

Anybody interested in white coffee or tongkat ali coffee can contact me for more discussion on ways how to promote these products back at your home country.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lately, so many things happened around the world; the middle east crisis, flood in Australis, drought in China, earthquake and tsunami in Japan and Libyan crisis have brought uncertainties to the global economy. Due the crisis, commodities prices  have gone up drastically and oil prices surpassed USD100 mark.

What's transpired from these calamities and global crisis is that we are going to see increasing inflation in the world due to price increase. Food security will become an issue to deal in near future and this is critical as food is a neccessity to all. Food security crisis can generate instability as people will be under tremendous pressure to keep their financial in good order.

China is always proactive in dealing with such pressure. Various initiatives are being undertaken by the Government to ensure that the nation continuous to move forward with sustained eocnomic growth. Due to its fast growing nature that required ample supply of raw materials, China has stocked up these commodities and at the same time establish strong relationship with producers of commodities around the world. This is to make sure that supply of commodities like oil and gas, coal, iron ore and other minerals is secured for long term period.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The future is with Asia. With China and India taking the lead, Asian countries are expected to increase their share of world's economy. According to the report from World Economic Outlook, fast growing emerging markets are expected to record a growth of 6.6 percent per annum for the next five years till 2015 while advances economies are facing economic slowdown and forecast to grow at much lower, at 2.4 percent per annum.

The figures display the growing importance of fast growing and emerging markets, where most of them are residing in Asian continent. One of the contributing factors is due to the fact that many of Asian economies have not reach their maturity and therefore offer plenty rooms for growth. China, for instance, is a vast country with 1.3 billion population and a size of over 1 million square km. Though some parts of China can be regarded as advanced markets like Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, there are many more provinces or cities in China that requires further development and these actually help to boost the domestic China economy. Likewise, India is another huge market of 1.1 billion population and disparity between advanced and less developed areas is still wide, hence there's still a lot of development to be undertaken in the country which this will help to spur the domestic economy. Other economics such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand also have big domestic market and the increasing purchasing power help to boost economic growth of these economies.

Leveraging on the sustained economic growth in Asia, many foreign investors from advanced countries and middle east are exploring investment opportunities. That areas of opportunities include consumer products, services as well as property/real estate.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It is foreseen that Asian countries will be the future growth of world's economy. These Asian economies, spearheaded by China, are expected to boost their spending in infrastructure development for the benefit of its people, which in turn helping the people to have better living and contribute to the stability.

Due to growing business opportunities in the Asian economies, the people continue to prosper and spending power getting stronger. Countries like China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam can rely on their domestic market to continue registering steady economic growth despite what happened in the global market these past few years.

Back to China, the Government has introduced several measures to sustain its economic growth. The stimulus policy has helped the country to continue investing in infrastructure development especially in the least developed parts of China, such as the western and central China which include such provinces as Xinjiang, Ningxia and Innner Mongolia.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It has been quite some time since my last posting. For the past 2 and half months I have been engaged with overseas business trips and just returned from my trips that covered different continents.

Still, many words around that China continues to post steady economic growth despite what happened in other economies like EU and USA. According to the World Bank's report on 5-year economic growth from 2008-2012, China is expected to post economic growth of more than 8% over these five years, and 2011 will see China growing around 8.5%, albeit a bit slower than previous year's growth of 9.5%.

China also continues to receive huge foreign domestic investment (FDI) from all over the world. Relatively speaking, the inflow of foreign investment is not only attributed to the fact that China offers abundance labor resources at competitive cost, but the more important reason for foreign investors to continue investing in China is the fact that China has a huge domestic market of 1.3 billion, the increasing number of middle income population (around 350-400 million) as well as continuous infrastructure development in China, in particular the second and third tier cities (western and northern part). These 2nd and 3rd tier cities offer huge market opportunities for foreign companies, both in products and services sector. The consumers' purchasing power is increasing which see them craving for imported goods and services, and the cities themselves are going through major evolvement to become more modern and developed cities in China.

If everyone can remember, during many global economic crisis that happened in 1998 and 2008/2009 as well as major epidemic like SARs in early 2003, China's economic growth still remain steady. This basically was supported by strong domestic investment as well as strong domestic consumer market and private consumption, despite China having one of the highest consumer saving rates in the world. This trend is expected to continue and China will continue to rely on its domestic investment and domestic consumer market for its steady economic growth, in addition to China's aggressive initiatives to undertake various forms of investment abroad and to maintain its current strong export performance.