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Islamic banking, technology to play big role in Malaysia's economy in 2020: Randstad

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 15): Two prime industries that are expected to play a big role in Malaysia’s economy in 2020 are Islamic banking as well as technology, said human resources solutions firm Randstad Sdn Bhd (Randstad Malaysia).

In its 2020 Market Outlook report released today, Randstad said Malaysia has been positioned as a centre of excellence for Islamic banking, and would continue to be a global hub for Islamic finance going into 2020.

“An industry largely driven by foreign direct investment, the Islamic banking scene in Malaysia has been identified as a key focus and high-growth industry by the Malaysian government as well,” it said.

Randstad Malaysia and Singapore managing director Jaya Dass said following the Government’s mission to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution, agencies are looking for ways to accelerate the nation’s digital economy with the aim of strengthening its position in the global and regional technology arena.

“Malaysia is looking to court multinational corporations (MNCs) in value-adding industries in high-end technology to enter their shores over the next five years, and has also set aside US$238 million worth of incentives and grants to support those looking to establish their presence in Malaysia,” she said.

Dass said the country continues to be a desirable staging ground for shared services centres, and competes with other markets like India to attract companies to build their large centres of operations and conduct research and development activities here.

“To leverage the cost savings from currency exchange, MNCs prefer to hire their regional headcount from Malaysia. However, the local talent pool struggles to keep up with the high demand and expectations for skilled talent.

“As a result, companies eventually hire talent from overseas to meet their labour needs due to the local skills mismatch, from blue-collared workers through to specialists with niche expertise,” she added.

As such, the Government has launched the Malaysians@Work initiative with an aim to reduce this over-reliance on foreign manpower by 130,000, and to continue with the re-evaluation of foreign labour and talent migration plans in 2020.

The report said highly-skilled local talent with regional exposure, cross-cultural management experience and senior leadership capabilities are highly sought-after by companies.

“But similar to other countries, such high in-demand talent tends to pursue opportunities abroad. The brain drain we have witnessed in the local labour market is likely to persist going into 2020,” it said.

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