KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s small business sector in 2018 experienced positive business conditions, as confidence in business and economic growth marks its highest point since 2012.

This are the findings of CPA Australia’s 10th annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, involving over 3,600 small business operators in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

CPA Australia country head (Malaysia), Priya Terumalay said the survey showed there was positive shift in sentiments among Malaysia’s small businesses that reflected the sector’s continued focus on drivers of growth.

“This sector has had a strong 12 months, with 65.5 per cent of respondents reporting that they grew over this period.

“Looking to 2019, the results are even more positive, with three quarters of small businesses expecting to grow this year.

Terumalay said the positive shift in sentiment was also reflected in small business confidence in Malaysia’s economy, with nearly 70 per cent expecting the country’s economy to grow.

In a period of global economic uncertainty, this upturn in small business confidence in Malaysia is a vote of confidence in the nation’s economic direction.

In addition, the survey also found that over 40 per cent of Malaysian businesses surveyed earned more than 10 per cent of their income from online sales.

“There was also an overwhelming majority use of social media for business purposes, with 45.1 per cent stating they use it to sell their products or services.

“There is a relatively strong focus on innovation among Malaysia’s small businesses, with 29.3 per cent stating that they will innovate in 2019, beating the survey average of 20.8 per cent,” said Terumalay.

“The Malaysian Government has done much to encourage a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism, with policy developments.

“We expect the positive business conditions experienced by Malaysia’s small businesses in 2018 will continue into 2019, with small businesses remaining focused on innovation, e-commerce and technology.” – Bernama