Tough road ahead for Taiwanese businesses in Malaysia

10-Oct-2017 Intellasia | The Sun Daily | 6:00 AM Print This Post

FACED with a shortage of labour and the weakening of the ringgit, Taiwanese companies operating in Malaysia find the going increasingly tough.

Taipei Investors Association in Malaysia (TiAM) president Hsu Cheng Te said some of these companies may consider moving their operations out of the country, the Chinese press reported yesterday.

He said the labour shortage problem had been plaguing Taiwanese companies in Malaysia for the last two years, to the extent that many were afraid to accept orders for fear of not meeting the deadline, due to the shortage of manpower at production lines especially in the labour-intensive manufacturing sector.

“The ringgit has declined close to 30 percent (against the US dollar). Since most of the raw materials are imported and are paid in the green back, many (companies) are making losses,” Hsu told the media after chairing TiAM’s 27th annual general meeting in Serdang on Saturday.

He said if the labour shortage problem is not overcome, Taiwanese investors may be forced to relocate their operations to other Southeast Asian countries.

Hsu disclosed that at present Taiwanese investments overseas are concentrated in Vietnam, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries which opened up their economies not so long ago.

He said there were new Taiwanese investors to Malaysia in the last year, but not many.

“The Malaysian government hopes that we (Taiwanese investors) can bring in new technology to reduce reliance on labour, but it has to take into consideration that Taiwanese investors have been in Malaysia for a long time and more than half of their staff are locals, who would lose a lot of job opportunities (if these investors leave the country),” he said.

He said at present there are more than 400 Taiwanese entrepreneurs operating in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Selangor senior exco member Datuk Teng Chang Khim disclosed that the state government will fight for a licence for a Taiwanese bank to set up a branch in Malaysia.


Category: Malaysia

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