Is Malaysia considered a competitive nation? According to ranking in Global Competitiveness Report by World Economic Forum (WEF), Malaysia is ranked 23rd in the world. In Asia, we are only behind Japan and Australia (if you consider them as within Asia). In fact our position is relatively high when compared to majority of the countries in the world. However, this meant that we must work even harder because many other nations would continue to improve their competitiveness. They want to get all those Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) that we got. In 2017, FDI totalled RM41.04 billion and this is lower than 2016 where Malaysia’s FDI reached RM47.03 billion. Source: TradingEconomics.com This amount will make some countries do anything and everything for it, just in case anyone thinks the amount is not that much. Haha.
Anyway, going a little deeper, are the companies operating in Malaysia competitive enough? Well, I think we are okay lah. Our banks are fundamentally sound, at least. It’s TOUGH to get loans approved when we do not qualify… right? There are companies which are not doing well, even when so many new shops are setting up here. Earlier article here. There’s another world famous brand which is profitable but is still focusing on how to increase it’s operational efficiency. Nestle is the world’s largest food company. It’s extremely profitable too. However, Nestle SA have plans to cut as many as 500 jobs in its home market of Switzerland. The reason is because its Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider aims to boost profitability. The job cuts will be in computer-services positions but the company will offer employees training to switch to other positions or accept voluntary departures. (Yes, sometimes it’s called Voluntary Separation Scheme too). Nestle has 323,000 employees and is the sixth largest European employers. One main reason it has to cut cost was caused by the entry of a new activist investor. Please read the full article in TheStar here.
Let’s remember that whatever is happening elsewhere can and will happen here too. That job that we have today may not be available tomorrow even if the company is profitable because the company wants to be even more profitable. Salaries must be a starting point and we need to use it to do more instead of just buying, buying and buying. Well, unless what we are buying are gold bars, properties and stocks. Beyond just profitable companies, there are also loss-making companies and when we start to learn that our salaries are delayed for example, better be ready instead of just taking actions only when it happens. The scariest part of any job is to do the exact same thing every year but getting paid ever higher salaries because there will be a time when someone in another country could do what we do for less. Businesses will continue to seek out competitive countries to invest in. Let’s prepare well for it. We could either be the top 10 percent top performing employees or well, INVEST in ourselves. Happy working.
written on 31 May 2018
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