BDO director: 2023 may pose challenges to Malaysia amidst impending global recession | Asian Business Review
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BDO director: 2023 may pose challenges to Malaysia amidst impending global recession

This comes amidst GDP growth for the country in the past year.

Tan Chin Teck is currently BDO in Malaysia’s Executive Director in Transfer Pricing, where he advises clients on transfer pricing compliance and advisory issues. He holds over 11 years of working experience in audit, tax, and advisory services.

He also works with clients to develop sustainable transfer pricing strategies that involve supply chain management, business restructuring, system implications, and accounting and tax impact. His diverse work experience enables him to help clients review, document, manage and defend their transfer pricing policies and processes. 

Prior to joining BDO, Tan was also involved in various cross-function projects which include transfer pricing, implementation of GST, external audit, and implementation of MFRS 9 financial instruments.

He started his career in the Deal Advisory department of KPMG Malaysia in 2011, having worked on M&A and post-acquisition structuring projects, including financial & tax due diligence, tax structuring advice, and SPA review.

Tan also has various professional affiliations on a global scale, being a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, the ASEAN CPA, and the Malaysian Institute of Accountants, amongst others.

Looking into Malaysia’s business landscape, he warned that 2023 may pose another challenging year to the country as the global recession may take place amidst the risk aversion in global financial markets.

“As the world’s economy is digitally driven, Malaysian businesses nowadays should weather the storm by looking into digital adoption, digital entrepreneurship and innovation,” Tan said, also pointing out that Malaysia’s digital economy contributed for more than 20% of the nation’s GDP in 2022.

The BDO executive director spoke with Asian Business Review to share his insights on how Malaysian businesses can stay afloat amidst major disturbances in the market, promoting ESG compliance amongst organisations, and retaining top talents.

The Ministry of Finance forecasts Malaysia’s GDP growth to moderate between 4% to 5% this 2023. How do you think this will affect businesses in the country? Is there anything they need to watch out for?

GDP growth in 2022 was higher due to the reopening of borders, stimulating the recovery of the labour market as well as demand in industrial and tourism sectors. As such, the forecasted GDP growth in 2023 was reasonable as long as there is a continued expansion in domestic demand and sustained labour market recovery. Having said that, 2023 may pose another challenging year to Malaysia as the global recession may take place amidst the risk aversion in global financial markets. Businesses in Malaysia, especially the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) should seek cheaper borrowing costs by accessing the Bank Negara Malaysia’s Fund for SMEs.

As global inflation, tightening monetary policies, and geopolitical tensions affect major international economies, how do you think Malaysian businesses can stay afloat? Are there any strategies or technologies they can utilise?

As the world’s economy is digitally driven, Malaysian businesses nowadays should weather the storm by looking into digital adoption, digital entrepreneurship and innovation. Note that the Malaysian digital economy contributed for more than 20% of the nation’s GDP in 2022 and artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT bot may transform the business landscape soon. To start with, the companies should accept the government’s recent offer of digitalisation grant and thereafter, speak with relevant government agencies such as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation for implementation strategies.  

With many industries starting to employ ESG and sustainability programmes, how do you think businesses in Malaysia can promote compliance amongst their stakeholders? How can they maintain these initiatives?

Businesses in Malaysia, especially those operations which may cause impact to the environment, can set some requirements for selection of suppliers who are “ESG compliant.” Overall, the ESG-compliant companies should implement necessary corporate governance frameworks, or some check and balance processes, in order to maintain these initiatives. Lastly, please note that the “Tax in ESG” is an area that everyone should not ignore – companies should ask their tax consultants for more info regarding the ESG Tax.

One of the more pressing issues in the business landscape is how organisations can retain their top talents despite the rise of digitalisation initiatives. How do you think businesses can stay on top of this? How can organisations attract more talents?

Companies will need to offer competitive remuneration packages in order to retain their top talents. Some HR surveys have reiterated that pay is still the top consideration for an employee. Having said that, no one is irreplaceable, hence it is important for companies to always have succession planning for the critical roles.

As a judge for this year’s awards programme, what qualities are you expecting to see amongst this year’s entries?

Companies who are resilient and innovative. Those national and international businesses from all sectors who strive to overcome their current business and economic challenges deserve the awards.  

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