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VOL 4 / NO 1 / 2016

WM RM8.40 / EM RM10.60



Low Oil Prices & Weakening Ringgit: How it’s affecting the Malaysian economy

Dialogue with EU Ambassador: What’s happening to the EU-Malaysia FTA?

EUMCCI Chamber Committees' Vision for 2016 and beyond

Medini, the new urban metropolis located in the southern tip of the peninsula is the future iconic township of Iskandar Malaysia. This innovative city is set to be a premium international destination. It is strategically located in Nusajaya, Johor and master planned and developed by Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Medini is conveniently connected to Singapore, being just 10 minutes away from the Tuas Second Link. Spread over 2,230 acres of prime land, Medini is a mixed-use development that combines exquisite living and lifestyle with the needs of growing and established businesses. This smart city, with its completed infrastructures, connected location and special incentives is your ideal business and investment destination. Discover more about this unique opportunity. Call +607 509 8500 or visit





EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (EUMCCI) Suite 10.01, Menara Atlan, 161B Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: +603-2162 6298 Fax: +603-2162 6198 E-mail: Website: EUMCCI BOARD CHAIRMAN Fermin Fautsch ACTING DEPUTY CHAIRMAN Daniel Pans HONOURARY TREASURER Dato’ Robert Teo EX OFFICIO

Articles and other materials of interest to the general membership are actively solicited and may be sent to the Chamber. All materials submitted for publication are subject to editorial review and revisions.

REPRODUCTION No part of the EUMCCI Review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without prior written permission.

H.E. Luc Vandebon

BOARD OF DIRECTORS/REPRESENTATIVES Artur Dabkowski, Allan Jensen, Vojtech Hromek, Jari Niemi, Loong Caesar, Borja Solans, Olof Rapp, Ron Anderson, Werner Somweber, Dato’ Andy Seo & Barbara Er

EDITORIAL COMMITEE EUMCCI Board Representative – Allan Jensen Stefanie Braukmann, Jennifer Chien


CIRCULATION 3,000 copies of the EUMCCI Review are distributed, on a quarterly basis to EUMCCI members, all Embassies, industry associations and government officials with whom the Chamber has dealings as well as to European Chambers worldwide. It is also sold in MPH bookstores.


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W-9-12, Menara Melawangi, Amcorp Trade Centre, 18, Persiaran Barat, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: +603-7932 3259 Email: DIRECTOR N. Premala CONSULTANT V S Ganesan SENIOR EDITOR Vimala Seneviratne EDITOR Sharmila Valli Narayanan ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Faridah Ismail CREATIVE Goh Wei Lee PRINTER United Mission Press Sdn Bhd (755329-X) No. 25 & 27, Jalan PBS 14/14, Taman Perindustrian Bukit Selangor, Seri Kembangan, 43300, Selangor. Tel: 603-8941 6618 Fax: 603-8945 5168 DISTRIBUTORS (Malaysia) MPH Distributors Sdn Bhd (5048-A) Ground Floor, Bangunan TH, No. 5, Jalan Bersatu, Seksyen 13/4, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor DE, Malaysia Tel: 603-7958 1688 Fax: 603-7954 8215 E-mail:

All writers automatically agree to indemnify EUMCCI and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd against any loss, costs, expenses (including legal fees), damages and liabilities that might arise from their own incapacity, negligence, breach of contract or other civil misdeeds. We reserve the right to edit all articles. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2015/2016 by EUMCCI and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of EUMCCI and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd. EUMCCI and Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photography, illustration and other editorial materials.



Editor’s Note EU SMEs in Malaysia

SMEs are the backbone of many developed economies. In Europe, there are 22 million SMEs that employ more than 90 million people. Although large European companies are present in Malaysia, many European SMEs are not aware of the potential of investing in Malaysia or in the region. Via the Support for European Business in South East Asia Markets or SEBSEAM, EUMCCI together with other European business chambers in ASEAN hope to attract 1000 to 2000 EU SMEs to invest in Malaysia and the region. One such European SME that has set up its office in Malaysia is Tony Gee and Partners Sdn Bhd. This United Kingdom based company which has several high profile projects all over the world, initially was hesitant about setting up its office here. The success story of Tony Gee and Partners also demonstrates the important part business chambers like EUMCCI play in helping European companies with their many enquiries. The story of Tony Gee and Partners starts from page 18. The cover story (starting page 6) focuses on the achievements of Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd’s in building the greenest bridge in the region and winning the prestigious Brunel Medal Award for its outstanding achievements in civil engineering. What is happening to the EU-Malaysia FTA? The negotiations for this started the same year as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) but the TPP has been signed but no such luck for the EU Malaysia FTA. H. E. Luc Vandebon explained the intricacy behind the stalled negotiations for the EU-Malaysia FTA during the Roundtable Breakfast Dialogue with EUMCCI members. Read the article starting page 29. Some new Board committees were created after the EUMCCI AGM last year. Three of the heads of the committees – the Election Committee, Project Director of SEBSEAM and the Advocacy and Editorial Committees – talk about the future plans and the impact it will have on EUMCCI in its role as ‘Chamber of Chambers’ (story starts from page 26). We welcome our members to join us for an exciting line up of activities in 2016 as a Chamber of Chambers. Jennifer Chien



CONTENTS VOL 4 / NO 1 / 2016 2

Editor’s Note


From the Chairman’s Desk


When Grey Is The New Green


More Challenges Ahead For Malaysia


MITI Meets With Industry Reps On The Impact Of Current Economic Climate


Impact Of The Economic Challenges: A Personal Perspective


Building Bridges


Country Focus: French Republic


The Making Of A 'Chamber Of Chambers'


Chamber News


Corporate Partner News


38 Lifestyle 39

New Corporate Partners


Calendar of Events





From The Chairman



elcome to the first issue of EUMCCI Review for 2016. I am pleased to report that our mission of EUMCCI as the ‘Chamber of Chambers’ has been realised with Italy Malaysia Business Association (IMBA) and the Malaysian Swedish Business Association (MASBA) joining the EUMCCI as our bilateral members. I warmly welcome IMBA and MASBA to our family. We will also continue working closely with country representatives, including the Trade & Investment Promotion Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Embassy of the Czech Republic, and the newly re-opened Hungarian Embassy. After almost 4 years of serving in our Board, I have decided that the time is right to step down as Director and Chairman. After much reflection, after the completion and launching of our Chamber of Chambers model last year, I have decided the time was right to step down and allow a new leadership to come in and steer the Chamber in this new phase of growth. I am deeply grateful for the honour and privilege of serving the Chamber during exciting, and sometimes turbulent moments. In 2013, we had the opportunity to design, shape and implement our EUASEAN Business Council and subsequently we launched with the support of the EU the SEBSEAM Project (Support of European Business in South East Asia) with the participation of all EU Councils in the country. Last year, when Malaysia hosted ASEAN, it was a landmark and intense period for the Chamber with many consultations with the Malaysian and ASEAN Ministries and many positive outcomes. I have witnessed the Chamber grow and strengthen and I am very happy to see a unified EU family with all Chambers on board working together. What we all accomplished is notable. Finally, I wish to thank our members, our Board, our staff, the EU delegation, our EU Country Ambassadors, and in particular our EU Ambassador Luc Vandebon, for their support to make our Chamber of Chambers a reality. I am also very grateful to the Malaysian Ministries and Agencies for the opportunity they have offered our Chamber to engage in an open dialogue to support our fundamental mission that is to strengthen and grow the EU Malaysian trade and investment. I am also hoping that the EU Malaysia FTA negotiations will resume soon. In the coming months I will continue to support the Chamber and I look forward to have the opportunity to thank many of you for the support you have given to me, to our Board and to our Chamber.

Fermin Fautsch at the 14th AEM-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations held in Chiang Mai. From left: Tomaso Andreatta from EuroCham Vietnam, Joseph Hong, GM Thailand for Robert Bosch, Rolf-Dieter Daniel, President EABC Thailand and Fermin Fautsch.





Cover Story




When Grey is the New Green

Jambatan Kedua, or the Second Penang Bridge, is celebrating its second anniversary. Fanny Bucheli-Rotter takes a second look at this marvel of civil engineering, a bridge that connects a lot more than just two landmasses. Photography V. Chanthiran and JKSB


s with anniversaries, a quick recap of the jubilee’s most important milestones and successes is de rigueur. So let us look at the numbers first. It took 64 months of commitment, teamwork and unwavering dedication to bring this huge construction project to fruition. The project spans 24 km, of which 16.9 km are over water, it is South East Asia’s longest bridge. The project cost RM4.5 billion, RM500 million less than budgeted. All in all, Jambatan Kedua raked in 15 Malaysia Book of Records entries; quite a few of them stand proud in international comparison. As the timely completion of this government-initiated mega-structure was celebrated in April 2014, the local, regional and even international media covered many aspects of the immense feat, which Dato’ Ir. Dr. Ismail Mohamed Taib had lead; its beautifully S-shaped design, its high quality standard, its technical achievements and its importance for Penang’s further economic development. The fact that its highway concessionaire, Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd, would be the first in Malaysia to use electric patrol cars was mentioned almost as an afterthought. Yet in this unassuming factoid rests an immense potential for future building standards, for a way forward in the field of environmentally responsible civil engineering worldwide. Industry benchmarks, which Malaysia may well be spearheading, are set thanks to the relentless dedication to detail and a fierce belief in an always better future by JKSB’s Managing Director, Dato’ Dr. Ismail and his team.

IN SHALLOW WATERS The bigger a construction site, the more interest it attracts in its surrounding. When your neighbourhood high-rise goes up, many a retired engineer will follow its evolvement with wonder and alas, sometimes discontent. When the second Penang Bridge was built, an entire industry followed its progress with a mixture of awe, alarm and intense displeasure. The EUMCCI REVIEW


Cover Story

local fishing industry saw its fishing grounds threatened, and with that the livelihood of thousands of fishing boat owners and their families, as well as over a hundred aquaculture breeders in the immediate vicinity. Dato’ Dr. Ismail clarifies that dredging does in fact look much more invasive than it really is. The Penang Straits is quite shallow, hardly more than one meter at some locations. “Yet,” Dato’ Dr. Ismail explains, “the barges carrying large structural parts needed up to 4.5 meters clearance. We needed to create navigation channels alongside the bridge to facilitate transport.” After environmental experts had performed careful baseline studies of water and soil quality, the one-year dredging activities were given the green light. The JKSB management team knew better than to simply produce study results on a document in order to appease the local fishing community. Instead, they made sure to provoke as little ecological disturbance as possible. “According



to environmental requirements, removed silt and slush had to be disposed of at more than 20 miles off, into the Strait of Malacca,” says Dato’ Dr. Ismail. He goes on jestingly saying, “maybe we could have sold it to Singapore, they need to reclaim land, don’t they?” But jokes aside; one thing JKSB’s MD doesn’t like is cutting corners. In order to ensure the adherence to the environmentally sensitive rules of dredging, the vessels were fitted with on-line GPS systems monitoring their movements in and out of the Straits in real-time, depth sensors indicating the precise moment the barge had cleared its load and discharge sensors checking that the aft doors remained firmly shut until the vessel had reached its proper discharge location and would not, as sometimes alleged, slowly ‘bleed’ mud along its southbound journey.

WILDLIFE’S SEAL OF APPROVAL The local wildlife did recognise the construction site’s eco-friendly

concept right off the bat. Lucky construction workers on the bridge became frequent witnesses to entire schools of bottlenose dolphins playing near the site. A monkey, later named Panglima (or Commander) Awang took up residence on the bridge and quickly learned to reel in fishing lines for his working friends who tried to catch a treat for lunch. However, more substantially, the Penangite fishing community is quite reconciled with their bridge two years after its completion. In fact, while pre-construction studies showed only nine species of edible fish in the local waters, their numbers have now grown to over 20. The hundreds of piles driven into the seabed have created an artificial reef on which plankton and algae grow. This new eco-system has evolved into a perfect home for small fish, which in turn make for an attractive food source for bigger fish such as bannerfish and grouper among others. The inside of the pile caps have been discovered to harbor oysters

and local prawn, a fact that proves to be quite irresistible to the divers among the fishing community who harvest them at considerable risk for their own safety. Dato’ Dr. Ismail is in two minds about this. “They really shouldn’t do that,” he says, “it could go very wrong.” But at the same time, it’s hard to enforce a total ban. “Officially,” he goes on, “nobody is allowed to approach the bridge to more than 500 metres.” JKSB did infringe on the local aquatic grounds during the construction period, so it is only fair that the fishing community should be rewarded in that way. On the mainland, in Batu Kawan, a stretch of mangrove coastline had to be laid bare to facilitate construction of a temporary jetty and the access road to the bridge. This undoubtedly constitutes one of the most invasive and visible interferences in the local eco-system. No wonder was this move scrutinised, criticised and frowned upon. Nevertheless, in JKSB’s relentless commitment to minimise its construction’s negative impact on the environment, as much of the mangrove as possible have been replanted. They are mere saplings standing about two feet tall for now, but they will grow into their full size within 5 to 10 years. “Besides, not everybody is sorry about the exposed mudlands,” Dato’ Dr. Ismail elaborates with a big smile. “Our resident crocodile feels happy as a clam in these brackish waters.” Dato’ Dr. Ismail is standing in the toll plaza control room as he mentions Elvis, the croc, and his entire team gets in on the conversation, joking about how this new company pet should be elevated to the rank of official mascot and maybe even figure on their new and duly revised company logo. Besides the fact that it is refreshing to see an entire crew of grown-up men getting all excited about this aquatic reptile, the casual exchange speaks volumes about Dato’ Dr. Ismail’s comfortable relationship with all his employees.

GREEN BUILDING TECHNOLOGY Jambatan Kedua Toll Plaza Complex

Opposite page PLUS integrated Toll Plaza and the Toll Plaza Complex feature photovoltaic panels which generate and supply solar electricity to the entire complex. This page Top: Dato Dr Ismail (second from right) with his staff in the control room. Bottom: JKSB is the first to use electric patrol cars in Malaysia.

is all about GBI. The requirements expected by the Green Building Index or GBI are rigorous and designed specifically to fit the hot and humid tropical climate of Malaysia. The GBI is best explained as stated on the organisation’s website: “A green building focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use – energy, water, and materials – while reducing building impact on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal. Green buildings should be designed and operated to reduce the overall impact of the built

environment on its surroundings.” Both the bridge itself as well as all the adjoining buildings such as the toll plazas, the administration and supervision buildings, the information center and even the public surau, the guardhouse and the public restrooms all conform to the GBI standards and have been built following Industrialised Building Systems (IBS). The IBS demands that constructions use industrially precast components, which are then interlocked on-site to become the structure we see as an end result. Anybody who ever played with Lego EUMCCI REVIEW


Cover Story

as a child will know exactly what that means. To satisfy the GBI, Dato’ Dr. Ismail and his team ensured that their bridge project was built using so-called green concrete, a locally sourced material made of pulverised fuel ash (PFA) – a waste product from a nearby power station. You can’t do much better than that when reusing local resources. Energy efficiency is another major priority for a GBI accreditation. JKSB has gone to great lengths to achieve no less than gold and platinum ratings for its PLUS Integrated Toll Plaza and its Toll Plaza Complex respectively. Both structures feature photovoltaic panels, which generate and supply solar electricity to the entire complex. In addition to producing some of its

own electricity, the administration and service buildings’ orientation minimises their exposure to the sun, thus reducing the need for artificial cooling, while maximising daylight penetration in an effort to reduce the need for indoor lighting. Further measures, such as double-glazing on all windows, high ceilings for natural ventilation, automatic light and air-conditioning off-switches for empty rooms and even a wind turbine inside the surau’s minaret for additional power supply, all contribute to JKSB’s unique dedication to ecological responsibility. Dato’ proudly declares that, “JKSB now has obtained a license to resell any energy surplus back to the TNB grid.” No small feat when one keeps in mind that

the bridge’s concessionaire powers a substantial part of their operation with green energy and recharges its four electric patrol cars on site as well. The green pioneer spirit of the company is at its most tangible when other team members volunteer additional facts about measures such as rainwater harvesting, old railway slippers forming footpaths outside the offices, concrete containers converted into chairs and even the existence of a corporate herb garden. Clearly, everybody at JKSB is onboard and proud of the company’s green building technology. It therefore goes almost without saying that operations such as the integrated asset management system and the daily work orders are carried out in a completely paperless fashion.

AWARDS AND ACCOLADES Such dedication to eco-friendly building doesn’t go unnoticed. Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd had been presented with the very prestigious Brunel Medal Award of the Institution of Civil Engineers in the United Kingdom. Dato’ Dr. Ismail proudly explains how he and his team are only the third country outside UK to receive this award after Korea and New Zealand since 1995. “We are very proud and honoured to receive this award as it recognises outstanding civil engineering achievements and as to date we are the only recipients of this award in South East Asia.” Closer to home, the Second Penang Bridge concessionaire has also been recognised with the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Hibiscus Award, the top private sector environmental



award for business and industry in the country. The Hibiscus Award presents its recipient with an opportunity to create environmental awareness among other enterprises as well as among the Malaysian public at large. “As part of the judging process,” Dato’ Dr. Ismail explains, “we were asked to elaborate on our plan on educating the public about possibilities and benefits of ecofriendly and sustainable living.” JKSB’s managing director knows that awards need, or better yet, deserve to be more than a recognition of one’s best work. The notoriety they give its awardee needs to be put to good use. Besides the traditional approach of media coverage, JKSB also hopes to be able to showcase a 60-minute documentary feature on television, focusing on the bridge’s eco-friendly theme in commemoration of the projects second anniversary. Meanwhile, a more technical video strongly emphasising the construction’s green technology and its advantages has been distributed to all Malaysian universities where, it is hoped, the next generation of civil

engineers, architects and graduates of related professions will be inspired to make green building standards their mission for the future.

FUTURE GENERATIONS As a forerunner in green building technology, Dato’ Dr. Ismail understands the importance of, and the responsibility for education that rests on his and his team’s shoulders. Together, they recognise the significance of teaching future generations of professionals about the impact of green technologies, but they also know that responsible treatment of our planet needs to be taught at a very early age. JKSB has an important ongoing CSR program to this effect within the primary school system. Thus far, the program had been targeting a base framework. The goal has been to help the younger members of Malaysian society to improve their scholastic competency, to have better grades and to be proud of their academic achievements. Azizi Azizan, the group’s Corporate Communications

Manager explains how, “We want to branch out into other aspects of life lessons such as personal safety and environmental issues.” Responsible treatment of our environment has to be second nature behaviour, instilled at the youngest possible age, because let’s face it, what’s the point of passing a solar powered toll plaza in an electric car and proceed to cross revived fishing grounds over a bridge of green concrete, if you haven’t been taught better than to toss your fast food Styrofoam container out of your car window while crossing? Luckily, Dato’ Ir. Dr. Ismail Mohamed Taib is more than an extraordinarily gifted engineer. He knows how to build bridges. And “his” bridge is more than a construction made of steel and concrete, cables and pillars. The Second Penang Bridge not only connects landmasses, industries and neighborhoods, but also connects generations, ideologies and technologies. Most importantly, it connects the somewhat grey present to a greener future – the future of Penang, of Malaysia, and of Asia. t

Opposite page Top: The administration and supervision building. Bottom: The public surau conform to the GBI standards and built following Industrialised Building Systems.




MORE CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR MALAYSIA Malaysia had a rocky start this year with a continuous decline in the Ringgit, slumping oil prices and a weakening equities market. These volatilities have left market observers wondering when things will level out. Here’s a look at how the year has turned out so far and how economists expect the year to shape up in 2016.


Malaysia’s economy ended 2015 with an unexpected bang, expanding by 5% and beating economists’ forecast of a 4.9% growth. It is however unlikely for Malaysia to continue the positive momentum this year. The World Bank expects Malaysia’s economy to show moderate growth in 2016 and 2017 and cautions that Malaysia will need to brace itself for a bumpier ride this year due to the increasing presence of external headwinds. GDP is expected to decelerate to 4.5 % this year and 2017. These forecasts are lower than The World Bank’s previous projections of 4.7 % for 2016 and 5% for 2017 respectively. The revised forecast is premised on the continuation of low oil prices acting as a drag on growth, as well as fiscal and external factors as they impact sector investment.


Global liquidity is expected to fall and potentially increase the cost of capital.

Continuous growth rebalancing in China

China will shift its focus away from exports and investments to a consumption based economy.

Slowdown in global trade growth

Trade has not recovered to the levels seen before the “Great Recession” of 2008. Furthermore, downward movements in oil prices have weakened revenue collection.

MALAYSIA'S REAL GDP (ANNUAL YoY%) 6.00% 5.80% 5.60%

Real GDP



5.20% 5.00% 4.80% 4.60% 4.40% 4.20% 4.00%











The Ringgit was Asia’s worst performing currency last year, shedding 18% of its value against the US dollar, and things aren’t looking any better for the currency this year either. It hit a four-week low in February when it fell as much as 1.2 % to touch 4.2467. The currency led the drop in Asia as oil prices continued to dip. Twenty-two per cent of the Malaysian government’s revenue comes from oil-related sources. Putrajaya says it risks losing US$71 million for every US$1 drop in the commodity. Saudi Arabia and Russia’s agreement to freeze oil output at near-record levels have so far given no relief to markets. Despite the freeze, traders see no immediate end to the global supply glut. In fact, market observers are not expecting much help from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to prop up crude prices. The slump in oil prices has forced Malaysia’s state oil company, Petronas to review its business operating model for better efficiency.

FAST FACTS Petronas’ Cost Cutting Measures

Petronas slashed 30% of its capital expenditure (CAPEX) and 20% of its operating expenditure (OPEX) in 2015. Petronas generally spends more than

RM60 Billion


KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE LATEST OPEC MEETING IN JANUARY 2016 Indonesia re-entered to OPEC with full membership.

OECD and non-OECD inventories currently stand well above the five-year average.

Non-OPEC supply is expected to contract in 2016.

No consensus was reached on oil production cuts by OPEC members.

Conference emphasised continued dialogue with other oil-producers – China, EU and Russia.

Global demand is anticipated to expand by 1.3 million barrels per day in 2016.

Production by OPEC members to remain unchanged in 2016 at 30 million barrels per day.

Source: OPEC

per year for its CAPEX.


Its president and chief executive, Wan Zulkiflee, said Petronas would be cutting up to

RM50 Billion

in CAPEX and OPEX over four years.


Amid the uncertainties there’s one bright spot for the Malaysian economy. In February, Fitch Ratings affirmed Malaysia’s Long-Term Foreign and LocalCurrency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘A-’ and ‘A’ respectively with Stable Outlooks. The issue ratings on Malaysia’s senior unsecured local-currency bonds are also affirmed at ‘A’. The Country Ceiling is affirmed at ‘A’ and the Short-Term Foreign-Currency IDR at ‘F2’.

Selected key rating drivers for the affirmation by Fitch: Petronas would be cutting its contributions to Putrajaya to

RM16 Billion

in 2017, down 38% from

RM26 Billion in 2015.


Malaysian authorities have remained committed to their fiscal consolidation path, adopting a recalibrated budget in January 2016 cutting 0.6% of GDP from spending to match a decline in oil revenues. Despite a further decline in oil prices, Malaysia’s currency and reserves have stabilised since September 2015. Malaysia’s external liquidity has weakened but remains in line with ‘A’ range peers’ median. The economy is slowing, but growth remains stronger than in ‘A’ peers. Fitch expects real GDP growth of about 4% in 2016 and 2017, below the five-year average of 5%. t






ITI held a consultation on the economic outlook for Malaysia with industry representatives on 13 Jan 2016 hosted by the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa, at the very impressive new ministry building. The development in the international crude oil price weighed heavily in the briefing. Arguments were put forward on demand driving prices lower with less activity in China as the main factor. Arguments were also made that high supplies are driving prices lower due to OPEC deliberately overproducing to drive shale oilfields out of business. OPEC countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran produces a barrel of oil at a breakeven price of US$27 while shale has a breakeven around US$70/barrel. A cautious prediction was that oil prices will range between US$37-47 for at least another year, which is somewhat lower than what the Malaysian government had budgetted for in 2016. It was concluded that Malaysian state revenue only derives around 15% of their total from oil and the currently lower prices impact the economy with around RM4 billion, which isn’t deemed a severe problem for the



overall economy and addressable through adjustments. Perception that Malaysia had a higher dependency on oil has contributed to the weakening of the ringgit. Arguments from industry were put forth to carefully monitor the impact on car sales and to seek to curtail the wage development from rising too rapidly. Dato’ Sri Mustapa offered his commitment to continue to listen to industry concerns though also affirming that minimum wages would be rising as they had long been held too low. The minister also mentioned that the government will take steps to take care of the people affected during any slowdown to the economy that the above mentioned macro economic factors might trigger. Dato' Sri Mustapa gave his assurances that the government has room to and can and will act as required. Specific emphasis was placed on the TPP agreement as a means to get the economy in stronger shape and the minister also hinted that talks will soon resume with the EU on a Free Trade Agreement, after a one-year hiatus. Dato’ Sri Mustapa committed to brief EUMCCI further on the subject in the near future. t


IMPACT OF THE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES: A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE These are challenging times for the Malaysian economy with low oil prices and the weakening Ringgit. EUMCCI REVIEW asked three people from different industries what impact oil and a weak Ringgit have on their industry. The views shared by the respondents are strictly their own and do not reflect their company nor industry.

The three respondents are:




Managing Director, IEN Consultants Sdn Bhd


Founder and Managing Director

A green building consultant

Contract Logistics & Land Transport at DB Schenker Malaysia

Business Management Firm for the Aerospace Industry (Space and Aviation)

Q & A How has the weakening Ringgit impacted your business?

GR: We are seeing a slow-down in the construction industry and this in turn does affect those of us in the green building consultancy. In other words, our business is slowing down. CK: The demand for imported consumer goods has decreased. This is expected because these goods are now more expensive due to the strong USD. On the other hand, the US/International customers for high tech and electronics who are billed in USD for logistics services rendered have achieved considerable savings and are extending their activities. AYF: Since returning from the 5th edition of the biennial Singapore Airshow 2016 (Asia’s largest and one of the most important Aerospace and Defence exhibitions globally held from 16th to 21st February 2016), I am even more upbeat about the Asia Pacific aerospace industry especially the General Aviation (GA) segment (including the Business Aviation sector) that ESSOR Aerospace focuses on. (GA is all civil aviation operations <other than scheduled air services> and non-scheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire. General Aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to corporate business jet flights). All the top experts in the aerospace industry are confident of a brighter future in Asia despite the gloomy forecast. When it comes to the weakening Ringgit, an SME like our company ESSOR, has to be very flexible and adaptable. We don’t put all our eggs in one basket. We diversify into different sectors within the aerospace industry and spread out our risks. We are able to modify and adapt our business approach to leverage on the global and Malaysian market situation very quickly and put more efforts in areas where we have a competitive edge. As we sell our services in Ringgit, our pricing has become very attractive to our international clients who market their products and services in USD or in the currency from their home country. Thus, we are thankful that we actually benefit from the weakening Ringgit when our international clients choose to work with us. Most of the aerospace/aviation firms (both foreign and Malaysian based firms) trade in USD and have their overheads in Ringgit if they are based in Malaysia. For these firms, if they earn more US dollars and have less expenses in US dollars, they will have a net gain when converted to Ringgit. If these firms spend more in US dollars and have less US dollar earnings, there will be a negative impact on their bottom lines. Some aerospace firms that I know of have greatly benefitted from the weak Ringgit and are “laughing to the bank” from the exchange rate gains.

Have lower oil prices had a positive effect on the overall costs in your industry? GR: I haven’t noticed any significant impact of lower oil prices in our segment of the industry. CK: Costs for air freight, ocean freight and overland EUMCCI REVIEW


Feature transport are directly impacted by oil price fluctuations. The considerable decrease in the price of fuel has been good for our customers. It has reduced the cost for our customers and an increase in revenue and a growth in volume for companies like us. For example, about 15-50% of the truck land transport costs, depending on long or short haulage, are fuel related. If fuel prices decrease by 40%, costs will be reduced by 6-20% and vice versa, if fuel prices start to increase again. AYF: The drop in oil prices has a mix influence on the sectors we focus in. According to New Jersey-based aviation analyst Brian Foley, if the recent trend continues, he believes the declining fuel costs will benefit the smaller end of the general aviation market, from small piston-powered airplanes up through midsize business jets, a segment that has traditionally been rooted in North America, which has resumed its position as the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best economic region. According to Foley, falling fuel costs could spark a sales resurgence in this segment since operators of those aircraft are more fuel-price dependent, flying more when fuel is more affordable. Such an increase in flight activity will provide a boost to related businesses such as FBOs (Fixed-Base Operators) and MROs (Maintenance, Repair and Overall), as well as charter and fractional providers. (Source: Ainonline â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Business Aviation, 2015) On the other hand, reduced activity in the oil and gas industry is continuing to weigh on manufacturers and operators in the offshore transportation sector, with those on the front line particularly hard hit. Flights in support of exploration work have been particularly affected. This will overall drag down the performance of its mission critical services division, which, includes helicopter emergency services operations. Helicopter manufacturers are also seeing that weakness translate to lower orders and deliveries, particularly at the heavier end of the market. (Source: FlightGlobal, 2015)

What is the biggest issue that has an impact in your business at the moment? GR: The biggest short term impact is the slowing down

or the cautiousness in the Malaysian building sector. In the longer term, it will be interesting to see whether cheap energy (for example the expected long term, low oil prices) will adversely affect our business of energy efficiency and green building consultancy. So far, thankfully, we have not seen a diminished demand in the market, perhaps because the market realises that rising energy prices and emphasis on sustainable solutions are long term trends. CK: I see two issues that might have repercussions in our industry. The first is the uncertain global market situation and the local political situation. The low oil price is affecting



major economies of oil exporting countries. Lower oil prices mean less revenue and this, in turn, can lead to instability in especially vulnerable economies that are largely dependent on oil. Lately the economic performance of Malaysia due to lower oil prices and the weakening Ringgit has not done the country much good. Malaysia is no longer the top destination for international investors coming to this region. They are looking at other emerging markets within ASEAN such as Indonesia and Vietnam for example. However, I must caution that it is still too early to evaluate the actual impact of this low oil and weak Ringgit scenario onto Malaysia. And I must stress this is only my personal opinion. AYF: Despite the jitters and the fears of the impact of the current economic challenges in the general business community, the aerospace industry in general, and the Business Aviation sector that ESSOR focuses on, have never been more active than the last six months! So I am cautiously optimistic that things are generally looking good for the industry. t





BUILDING BRIDGES Photography V. Chanthiran



Tony Gee and Partners were initially reluctant to set up a branch office in Malaysia because the company was not sure whether its services would be needed here. Tony Gee and Partners Sdn Bhd finally opened its offices in Kuala Lumpur three years ago. It is one of the best decisions the company has ever made, says its country manager, Evan Ho. He tells SHARMILA VALLI NARAYANAN why itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good to do business in Malaysia.


ony Gee and Partners is a very well known name in the United Kingdom and around the world thanks to its sterling reputation as a firm of specialist consulting engineers. It is renowned for “solving complex engineering challenges for clients in the construction industry, providing innovative permanent works design and construction methodology and temporary work solutions.” In the United Kingdom, the company has numerous awards such as Consultant of the Decade (SME category) in September 2013 where it was praised for its performance within civil engineering, innovative ideas and for the company’s influence in the industry. The judges noted that Tony Gee “continually punches above its weight” by consistently landing contracts to work on high profile projects around the world. Earlier this year, The Sunday Times named it one of the best 100 companies to work for in 2016. Although the company did not open an office here until 2013, it had been involved in some of the major civil engineering projects here such as the Ampang Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH). “Opening an office here was a leap of faith for Tony Gee because we were not sure whether there was a market here for our very specialised services,” says Evan Ho, the country manager. Ho, whose boyish looks belie his 43 years, is a Malaysian who has been with the company for years in the United Kingdom. The announcement of the construction of the MRT line was a major factor for the company to finally open its office in Kuala Lumpur. When he was asked to set up the Malaysian office, he jumped at it as it gave him a chance to come back home after working abroad for nearly a decade.

How have things been for Tony Gee and Partners Sdn Bhd since opening its office in 2013?

What are some of the factors that you find attractive about doing business in Malaysia? The overall cost of doing business here is much lower than other cities in Asia like Singapore and Hong Kong. This includes the cost of labour and office space. Plus Malaysia is a very nice place to live. The people are wonderful, English is spoken widely, food is fantastic and there are lots of good, quality Western restaurants as well. The cost of living, especially for the expat is low compared to say Singapore. My foreign talents love it here. I had some interns from the United Kingdom who came to work in the KL office. Initially, they were quite apprehensive: they were not sure of what to expect. At the end of their internship, they all said that coming to KL was the best decision they made. None of my foreign talents have anything bad to say at all – except maybe for the weather and the public transport system – things that most Malaysians complain about as well!

Tony Gee requires a highly skilled workforce. Does Malaysia have enough local talents to fill the need? And if you need foreign talents, how easy or difficult is it to get them? Finding the right local talent is a challenge that is faced by both local and international companies here. The Government is aware of the importance of producing a good workforce. But unfortunately, there is still this gap between what the industry needs and what is being taught in the universities. Having said that, there are local talents here; it’s a challenge to look out for them and so you really keep looking high and low. We do want to hire locals. And when we do find the right candidate, it is such a joy to work with Malaysians. As for getting foreign talents, I have to thank Talent Corp. I came back to Malaysia because of Talent Corp. I had wanted to come back because my parents are here and


We now feel that maybe we should have opened the office here much earlier as there is a market here for us. Our local representatives urged us to have a local presence. Many of the major jobs passed us by because we did not have a Malaysian office. Many local clients were hesitant to work with us before because we lacked a Malaysian office. I don’t blame them because in a service industry like ours, personal relationships between client and company is very important. It’s difficult to cultivate this relationship if there is no local presence. But now that we are here, everything has fallen into place and the jobs are coming in. In Tony Gee, the senior consultants are the engineers themselves and our clients like that they are actively involved with the projects. That’s the advantage of being a small company. In large firms, the senior consultants are often different from the actual engineers who do the work. Tony Gee employs 400 people, of which 300 are based in the United Kingdom and the rest are scattered among its international offices.



Interview Talent Corp made it so easy for me to return. And whenever we needed foreign talent, we have had no problem bringing them in thanks to Talent Corp.

What were some of the challenges of setting up the business here? It was very challenging setting up the local office and that’s because I went about doing it the wrong way – too much of it by myself! It never occurred to me at that time to get in touch with EUMCCI or even the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (BMCC). It was really tough initially, but with support from my colleagues in Malaysia and other countries, the business here has started to thrive. Only later did I realise how much easier it would have been if I had gotten help from EUMCCI or BMCC. If I could do it all over again I definitely would approach EUMCCI and BMCC. Now that I am active in both chambers, I can really see how they have helped me in growing the business. EUMCCI especially has been very helpful. They have lots of important information on all the sectors. The networking opportunities offered by EUMCCI is excellent and even other European chambers have advised me to go to EUMCCI for its networking links. The staff at EUMCCI have been very helpful as well. The Malaysian Government’s decision to liberalise the professional services sector has been a great boon for us. It is a lot easier now to do business in Malaysia. My experience working with Government agencies have also been very positive. They are eager to help and are very pro business. There is a huge change in their attitude compared to more than 10 years ago when I was here. The Government Transformation Plan seems to be working and as a Malaysian I am very proud of that.

Could you tell us some of the projects that you are involved with now? We are working with Gamuda Bhd on the Penang Transport Masterplan where we have been engaged as viaduct




consultants for the proposed LRT line. All this is still in the early design stages. We are also involved in the MRT project. Our focus is mainly on construction especially bridge designs for which we are famous for. I would like to stress that Tony Gee is not interested in competing with local consultants. We see ourselves as providing something that is not available in the market. Our forte is in solving complex engineering challenges for our clients. In Asia, we are known for our innovative design and construction methodology for bridges.

Tony Gee is well known for its work on railway projects in the United Kingdom and Europe. How about Malaysia? High-speed railway (HSR) is the future and in Europe, the Governments are pushing for this. There is a lot of potential for HSR in Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur Singapore HSR will be a game changer to the economy south of Kuala Lumpur and to Kuala Lumpur itself. The latest news from the Government is that works will only start in 2017. Of course we are very interested in it and are in talks with the leading players of this project and hope to be part of it. This is a huge project with enough work for everyone from the locals to the foreigners. Most of the big players in the rail industry in Europe are in Malaysia already. The local players will definitely benefit from the expertise of the foreigners. So it will be a win-win situation for all. It is one of the most anticipated projects in this region.

What advice do you have for companies that plan to come to Malaysia? If it’s a European company, my advice is to get in touch with EUMCCI. They have all the information that you need and will be able to guide you to get in touch with the right Government agencies. Do your research before coming in and once again EUMCCI and your respective country’s business chamber are good places to start. t


MAKING KUALA LUMPUR A GLOBAL CITY Cities of the future are ones where good infrastructure, public transport, digital connectivity, public parks and greenery, cultural activities and entertainment become vital points that attract people from within the country and outside to live and work. Kuala Lumpur is on its way to make its mark not only as one of the most liveable cities but a place for MNCs to invest in.


uala Lumpur has always been the nation’s economic heartbeat, especially after the country’s independence in 1957. When the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) was launched in 2010, the Government envisioned an even bigger role for Kuala Lumpur in the transformation of the country’s economy. When the ETP was launched, the development of the Greater Kuala Lumpur was declared as one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas under the ETP. To achieve this, the Government understood that the private sector participation and contribution would be vital to the creation of a Kuala Lumpur as a vibrant, global city. The Government’s overall aim is to transform

Kuala Lumpur into “A world class metropolis that would boast the very best standards in every area, from business infrastructure to liveability.” One of the ways the Government intends to achieve this is by setting up Invest KL to attract global companies. By attracting major MNCs to set up their headquarters here, InvestKL will help spur the creation of jobs, talent, income growth and innovation.

MAKING KUALA LUMPUR A GLOBAL CITY The Government has embarked on a number of Public Partnership Projects (PPP) such as the extension of the LRT line, the building of an MRT line and the construction of a High Speed Rail (HSR) network between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The MRT line is expected to be completed in late 2016. The completion of this rail-based transportation system will integrate with the existing public transportation systems, resulting in shorter commuting time and spurring new commercial activities. The 486-acre Bandar Malaysia township will be the hub for the HSR to Singapore and the Pan ASEAN Rail Transit to Bangkok. This project is expected to bring in a huge amount of foreign direct investment, starting with the RM8.14 billion by China Railway Group Ltd to build its intergrated office investment complex there. When completed Bandar Malaysia will be a new engine of growth for the Greater Kuala Lumpur area. The construction of major new buildings and spaces such as the Tun Razak Exchange Centre will further change Kuala Lumpur’s skyline and give it a unique distinction among global cities. Plans are also afoot to ensure that Greater Kuala Lumpur has excellent digital connectivity and publics spaces and parks to make it a global city where people can not only work and but also relax and play. All the efforts of the PPP, Government and InvestKL in selling the image of Greater Kuala Lumpur are being realised. During the launch of a luxurious high-end property in Kuala Lumpur in March this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, disclosed that international property group Knight Frank named Kuala Lumpur in its “Five Global Cities to Watch” list which came out at the end of 2015. A Euromonitor report, also from 2015, ranked Kuala Lumpur ninth out of 100 leading cities globally in terms of international tourist arrivals. The EIU Global Liveability Survey 2014 listed Kuala Lumpur as the second most liveable city in Southeast Asia. It was also only one of two Southeast Asian cities that made it to the top 100. The future for Greater Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia is certainly looking brighter. t EUMCCI REVIEW






ast year, France was a victim of not one, but two terrorist attacks. The first was the attack on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo in January 2015. The second, now known as the Paris Attacks of 13th November 2015, killed 130 people and injured more than 300 people. The whole world stood with France at this horrific act, including Malaysians. “Many Malaysians, ranging from government officials to opposition party leaders, as well as individuals, strongly condemned the attacks and offered their condolences,” says H.E. Christophe Penot, French ambassador to Malaysia. Malaysians sent letters and laid flowers in front of the French Embassy. “We deeply appreciate these gestures from Malaysians. It also showed that we must stand united in the face of terror.” Penot warns that no one is safe from terrorism attacks. “The attacks in Jakarta on 14th January 2016 came as a sad reminder that terrorism is a worldwide threat which can also affect Southeast Asia. Vigilance against extremist violence is now a shared international concern. Our open societies are more vulnerable than others and to tackle this new challenge, we must work even more closely together. I know that the Malaysian authorities are taking this threat very seriously. France and Malaysia have already developed a good cooperation in many areas and we must go further,” he says.

FRANCE AND THE ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (AEC) Over the past ten years, the trade between France and ASEAN has increased by more than 50%. In 2014, bilateral trade between France and the ten ASEAN countries accounted for more than €25 billion (around 3% of France’s external trade). The emerging markets in Southeast

H.E. Christophe Penot

Asia represent new economic opportunities for French companies: French exports to the Philippines grew by 30% in 2014, and those to Vietnam grew almost 9% in 2014. Nonetheless, Singapore remains France’s top trading partner in ASEAN, with Malaysia ranking second. Bilateral trade between France and Malaysia totalled €4.2 billion. French exports to Malaysia was €2.39 billion in 2014, with more than half of total exports stemming from the aeronautical sector followed by electronics and electrical, agri-food goods, chemicals, cosmetics, perfume and pharmacuetical products. In the same year, Malaysian exports to France, driven by the Electrical and Electronic (E&E) products with 58% of the total exports and the industrial machines with 9% amounted to €1.8 billion. In the long run, the AEC integration will strengthen the economic relations between France and the ten members, says Penot. “In particular, French subsidiaries settled in the area will benefit from liberalised exchanges of goods and services and the implementation of common rules concerning regional competition. We conducted a survey among the French economic community in ASEAN and it highlighted that 57% of them anticipate a significant positive effect from the harmonization of tariff and nontariff barriers for their businesses.” 1 While the EU remains the most important market for France, Asia has not been ignored either. At present Asia as a whole represents 14% of France’s external trade in 2014. “Asia has been the fastest growing partner with a 45% growth over the last 10 years. In terms of investment, the Asian continent accounts for 8% of our Direct Investment Abroad (DIA) and 4% of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)2 in France,” he explains.

FRENCH PRESENCE IN MALAYSIA FRANCE AT A GLANCE Motto of the country: ‘Liberté, égalité, fratinité’; (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) National anthem: La Marseillaise Capital and largest city: Paris Official language: French Population (estimate): 66, 644, 000 Government: Unitary semipresidential constitutional republic



President: François Hollande Prime Minister: Manuel Valls President of the Senate: Gérard Larcher President of the National Assembly: Claude Bartolone Legislature: Parliament • Upper House: Senate • Lower House: National Assembly

The past five years have seen a sharp increase in French investment in Malaysia. There are now 270 subsidiaries of French companies in Malaysia that have created more than 25,000 jobs. They are involved in diverse sectors such as manufacturing (1/3 of cumulated revenues in 2014), construction (28%) or technical services (15%). However, Penot cautioned that some of these subsidiaries may be impacted by the current slump in the O&G sector which may cause margins to reduce. Penot points to the Joint Venture ( JV) between Affin Holdings Bhd and AXA as an example of the growing phenomenon of French companies that have developed

strong ties with Malaysian counterparts over the years. “We need to highlight these achievements and promote new local partnerships between the two countries,” adds Penot. “An even more business-friendly environment would help and the proposed bilateral Free-Trade Agreement between EU-Malaysia could be a good framework, in particular for services and agro-food businesses.”

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN FRANCE During the ‘Invest In France” breakfast event which was organised by the French embassy last September, Penot was proud to hear from representatives of EPF (Employees Provident Fund) who spoke in glowing terms of the investment opportunities in France and the favourable business conditions. “The fund has successfully completed two Real Estate (RE) projects in France: the Prisma Tower at La Défense and the Espace Lumière at BoulogneBillancourt. We also noticed the interest of most of the attending Malaysian companies and funds in looking into the French market for new activities in various sectors such as retail, infrastructure or RE. These investors are attracted by the recently implemented new pro-investment rules which facilitate implantation and competition through softened taxation and strong incentives,” says Penot.

ENHANCING MALAYSIA-FRENCH TIES One of the top priorities for Penot will be to strengthen the dialogue with Malaysia on climate change within the framework of monitoring the agreement reached in Paris during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2015. He would also like to promote France as an attractive destination for both investment and tourism to Malaysians. “I also wish to contribute to strengthening our exports and the diversification of our economic presence by focusing the Embassy’s actions on key priority areas: energy and environment (e.g. renewable energies), transport (high speed rail and urban transport), agriculture and food products (including halal), as well as health and pharmaceuticals.” In addition, he is looking to improve educational ties between the two countries by improving student mobility between the two countries. He is hopeful of being able to conclude soon a “framework for mutual recognition of diplomas between Malaysia and France in the near future.” Penot also supports the extension of the French high school in Kuala Lumpur. Another of Penot’s aims is to promote the teaching of French as a second foreign language in Malaysia. “I also want to stress the significance of the Francophony, which can be an important growth driver. The French language is now the fourth most spoken in the world, with the number of speakers estimated at 230 million people in 2014. This is projected to reach 770 million in 2050. It is fundamental to promote the French language in Malaysia even if it is lagging far behind English,” he says. t 1. Survey conducted by the Regional Economic Departement for ASEAN 2. Banque de France, 2014

Famous French France has had such a huge influence in Western European history and culture and in the world. It would be impossible to list all the famous French people who have made an impact, so here is a selective list of French names that are recognised all over the world: JOAN OF ARC: She was an alleged illiterate country girl of the 15th century who claimed to have received heavenly visions which told her to reclaim France from the English during the Hundred Years’ War. She led the French to many victories and paved the way for the coronation of the heir of France but was finally captured by the English who tried her as a witch and burned her at the stake. She was only 19 years old. In 1920 she was canonized by Pope Benedict XV. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE: There are few people in the world who are recognised by just their first name. Napoleon is one of them. He was a political and military genius and is considered one of the greatest military commanders in the world. At one point he controlled most of the continental Europe. LOUIS PASTEUR: This renowned French chemist and microbiologist proved to the world that diseases were caused by germs. He discovered the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. This, in turn, led to remarkable breakthroughs in the diagnosis and preventions of diseases, which have saved countless lives ever since. He also created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax. LOUIS VUITTON: The fashion house he founded in 1854 is still a very popular luxury brand more than 160 years later. The company started off with trunks and today it makes handbags and shoes among other things. COCO CHANEL: A fashion icon whose iconic style and designs still remain contemporary today. The perfume that she created in 1921, Chanel No 5, is still the best-selling perfume in the world. BRIGITTE BARDOT: Even if you have never seen a French film, chances are you would have heard of Brigitte Bardot. She was the face of French cinema during the post-World War II era. Since retiring from films in the early 1970s, Bardot has been a fierce campaigner for animal rights. ZINEDINE ZIDANE: One of the greatest footballers of all time. He won the World Cup with France and has had a very successful career. MARION COTILLARD: A singer, song-writer and actress (she was the first French actress to win an Oscar in a non-English speaking film), she is also the face of the present day French cinema. She has also been named as the most bankable French actress in the 21st century.

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During the EUMCCI AGM held on 17th December 2015, some new committees were created to enable EUMCCI to function as a Chamber of Chambers more effectively. Sharmila Valli Narayanan talks to three of them, Mr Jari Niemi, one of the board of directors and the head of the Election Committee; Ms Barbara Er, project director of SEBSEAM and Mr Allan Jensen, head of the Chamber/Advocacy Committee and Editorial Committee, to find out what plans are ahead for these committees and their impact on EUMCCI.



As one of the Board of Directors of EUMCCI, what do you think of some of the changes that were instituted by the Board during the last AGM? Why were these changes necessary? All in all, a review and reform of the old Memorandum and Articles (M & A) of the Association was due for a long time. Organisations and businesses are like living creatures: they change and take shape as time goes forward and the members and their environment evolves. Although an AGM (or sometimes an EGM) is only an annual happening, without a doubt, in legal terms it is the most important one.

You are overseeing the Election Committee leading up to the EGM. What does your job entail? Probably due to my a long history in various associations and unions, I have learned to hate the fuzz and uncertainty. What we try to do, is to ensure that the actual elections are clear to all participants and that the rules and regulations ensure fair and just results without complications. Having seen how bad it can go and affect even a whole chamber´s functioning, we wanted to try to prevent the unthinkable and let the participants concentrate on their agenda instead of worrying about legalities.

What is being done to make the election process more transparent and easier for members?



The most important thing we have done is to have improved on and recorded most of the actual election sections and bylaws and considered various scenarios before coming to conclusions. We are also giving information on the details in good time before the election day. Members should have these in hand before and not just five minutes before the vote, or as most often, they are nowhere to be found. With the Election Committee, it’s more work and thoughts to consider before the election itself, but when its done correctly, there will be less uncertainty and mistakes in the actual election. This is only the beginning, and in my opinion, we will see in the future how and to which direction we will have to develop the process further.

You have been a member of the Board of Directors for EUMCCI for some time. Could you tell us your experience of being a member of the Board? I think people often underestimate the need for the board work and especially the due diligence that it requires. It’s easy and embarrassing to be unprepared and just to go to sit in a meeting. It takes time and continuos efforts to be aware of what`s happening. Last year, EUMCCI's board came together and committed an exceptional amount of time to see through the transition to a Chamber of Chambers. What I want to see and respect in a board member is vision and strategy and being able to present oneself.




Congratulations on your appointment as project director of SEBSEAM. The project is entering its third year of its five-year plan. How has the progress of attracting European SMEs to Malaysia going on so far?




The Project has been successful in engaging the European SMEs to Malaysia via our business match-making events. The focus on the first two years had been on introducing Malaysia as a marketplace in the project sectors to the European communities. This was conducted via physical roadshows as well as webinars as a cost effective measure for European SMEs to be involved. These were supplemented with market reports that are available for download via the SEBSEAM-M website. Moving forward, these activities will continue and be intensified with an increase in business match-making events across the four project sectors.

What plans are there to increase Malaysia’s profile in the EU since there are still many countries that are quite ignorant about Malaysia? The Project team has been working closely with the ASEAN SEBSEAM teams. As such, we will be participating in ASEAN-collaborative roadshows in Europe, twice a year. We will couple this with additional roadshows targeting SEBSEAM-M project sectors to European countries that are active in these sectors. In addition, we will be ramping up on our digital marketing efforts in order to reach out to more companies that have little allocation in terms of physical travel to Malaysia.

What plans do you have as project director for SEBSEAM? The Project has undergone a challenging year with the huge amount of churn, both internally and externally. Having said that, one of the initial tasks that was undertaken was a GAP analysis which indicated that SEBSEAM-M is on track. My primary aim as project director for SEBSEAM-M is to restore stability so that all the efforts of the partners can see greater fruition. In bringing together greater collaboration amongst partners, I believe that we will be able to deliver all the objectives of the project and grow markets as the project comes to an end. It is also my hope that in streamlining our activities against the project objectives, we will be able to establish some of our core events to be selfsustaining for continuity even after SEBSEAM-M has concluded its time.

Congratulations on your appointment to lead and oversee the Chamber Committees. How important are Chamber Committees to EUMCCI? They are very crucial. In my view, EUMCCI has two engines: events and committees. Committees are essential for formulating and executing sector specific, detailed initiatives that lobby for improved commercial conditions, ease or tighten legal regulations as the case may be and to enhance the long term market potential for our member companies. At the core, we wish to improve business for our members as a Chamber of Commerce. As the Chamber of Chambers for EU, we not only have a professional well staffed full time secretariat to support committees, we also have the know-how among our 1.500 or so members. Together, we can present a much more comprehensive and convincing case as member companies constitute the best of the best across Europe and not just a single country. For my own bilateral which I currently chair, The Malaysia Danish Business Council, we are putting all sails behind EUMCCI and will not have any committees ourselves; instead we will support and lobby through EUMCCI committees. Many members cite networking as an important reason for their membership. In my view, networking is incidental to and almost automatic when putting concerted efforts through a well planned and managed committee and with structured and targeted committees with clear goals. Members will know that the time they spend on committee work has the highest possible chance of paying dividends

through actual results they can be proud of and from which their companies benefit.

What are some of the changes that you and your team intend to do with the Chamber Committees? We have a really good platform already; EUMCCI is known and recognised by ministries and government leaders across Malaysia. We have several committees that have already achieved great results for our members and I am very thankful and proud to be able to work further from this platform so many members and staff have worked hard to foster. What we are now trying to do is to reach deep into our bilateral membership base to show the value we can generate together by more companies joining the sector committees. Through a survey among all our members, we are asking: What are the foremost business issues you are facing in Malaysia now? This should give us valuable input to validate whether some of our existing committees are no longer of relevance or need to reshape focus and to find out what new committees we need to establish and staff with committed members who wish to make a real difference. We have also reworked the Terms of Reference for committees a bit to put some reasonable and very doable requirements on committee members, to ensure that all who join will partake in the lifting of the committee goals. We want active committees with clear goals and frequent meeting schedules in order to achieve their objectives for our common good within a reasonable time frame, so that spending the time in joining a committee presents a business case that is justifiable to our member companies.

What vision do you have for the Chamber Committees?



That we, to an ever increasing extent help set the agenda for reform and change, constructively sharing best practices from across Europe that help make Malaysia ever more competitive, safe, environmentally sound and a great place to live.

You are also heading the Editorial Committee. What changes can one expect to see with the EUMCCI Review? The quarterly Review is another example of a professional offering from EUMCCI. A sharp looking and interesting read that showcases the best of our accomplishments in EUMCCI. Many of the smaller chambers have had some form of magazine or newsletter and it is a big job to put this together in a manner that makes is a worthwhile proposition for the reader. I think we already have that with the EUMCCI Review and over time, we will see if we can add some additional sections with common interest items like lifestyle, technology and similar suggestions. We will also try to liven up the picture style to more action oriented images but we will not make drastic changes to this fine magazine, which is already a very good vehicle and mouthpiece for EUMCCI members. t



Chamber News

DIALOGUE WITH EU AMBASSADOR The EUMCCI Conference Room was packed with guests who had turned up for the Roundtable Breakfast Dialogue with the Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU, H.E. Luc Vandebon on 4th February 2016. Also among the guests at the event which was held in the EUMCCI Conference Room was H.E. Harry Molenaar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands and H.E. Bengt G. Carlsson, Ambassador of Sweden. Vandebonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s four year term here in Malaysia is coming an end. This Dialogue presented him with an opportunity to update the guests on the EU-Malaysia relations and the latest developments on the EU-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).




In his first interview with EUMCCI Review in 2013, Vandebon had said that one of his objectives during his tenure here would be to conclude the negotiations and sign the FTA between EU and Malaysia. Unfortunately, the much awaited FTA has not yet materialised. Instead, Malaysia has signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), which it began negotiating in 2010, the same year it began negotiations for the FTA with EU. Now that Malaysia has signed the TPPA it has said that it is ready to negotiate with the EU over the FTA using the TPPA as its benchmark. “The benchmark for EU on FTA with ASEAN countries is Vietnam, but for Malaysia it is the TPPA,” said Vandebon. Malaysia received many concessions in TPPA, the top among them being the recognition of the country’s Bumiputra policies. This concession will be a barrier to the EU, which places a premium on the need for transparency as well as on non-discriminatory policies. The problem with giving in to Malaysia’s concessions is that it creates other problems for the EU. “If we bend our rules for the FTA with Malaysia, what is going to happen to our EU standards? We also have ongoing FTA negotiations with Thailand and the Phillipines. How would they react? Would they also start demanding concessions? And what about the countries we have already signed the FTAs with? Would they be angry if the EU gave concessions to Malaysia?” he asked. Vandebon said however, that not signing the FTA was also not an option either as both Malaysia and the EU would lose out in the end. “I strongly feel we should go ahead with the FTA,” he continued. “I hope to convince Brussels to be flexible on certain issues because Malaysia is important to the EU. In 2014 Malaysia lost the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) to the EU and there is a strong interest from Malaysia to put the FTA back on track. There must be a strong political willingness from both sides to conclude the FTA. Both parties must resume negotiations with a fresh mind and find a mutually acceptable solution so that the FTA can be signed.” So far no definite date has been set for the FTA talks between the EU and Malaysia to resume. Meanwhile, the final text of the FTA agreement with Vietnam was sent to Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Secretary General of Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), for the ministry to study.

• Getting EU to show more interest in ASEAN

The EU is ASEAN’s second largest trading partner and the biggest source of FDI for ASEAN, and ASEAN is EU’s third largest trading partner outside Europe (after the US and China). However EU’s interest in this region has to be much higher. According to H.E. Molenaar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands, one way to achieve this is to get the private sector involved. “I call upon the private sector, both Malaysian and European to do their part in lobbying for this FTA to be signed,” urged Molenaar. “Malaysian companies that have a presence in Europe, such as the palm oil companies to name but one example, should lobby the Malaysian government to sign the FTA.” Molenaar added that EU companies in Malaysia should also do more to promote Malaysia to Europe. Many EU countries still don’t know where Malaysia is located. “One of the interesting aspects of my job is to bring Malaysian companies to Europe for investments. Malaysia is an investor in the EU and we need to emphasise this to our respective countries. I think this aspect of the trade – that of Malaysia as an investor in Europe – has not been given enough prominence,” he said. “EUMCCI is the voice of the EU business community and we have to strenghten this.” Fautsch said that EUMCCI has been strongly promoting Malaysia in EU by working with several Malaysian Government agencies and via trade missions. “EUMCCI has been promoting Europe as an investment destination for Malaysian companies, but I do agree that more should be done.”

• The possibility of an FTA with AEC

The ASEAN Economic Committee (AEC) came into being in December 2015. Mr Fermin Fautsch, chairman of EUMCCI wanted to know whether it was possible to negotiate an FTA with the region (AEC)? “I think a region to region deal is possible in the future. It is more complex that negotiating a bilateral FTA but it can be done,” answered Vandebon. He added that having a bilateral FTA with the EU will be an advantage for a country in influencing the negotiations should the EU agree to do a regional FTA with AEC. He warned that countries that do not have a bilateral FTA with EU might feel left out in such negotiations.

• Promote tourism, trade will follow

Dato’ Robert Teo, the honourary treasurer of EUMCCI suggested promoting bilateral trade is via tourism. He urged the EU business community to promote Malaysia as a tourist destination as it would be the first step in getting Europeans interested in Malaysia. “When they come here as tourists, they get to see the place, know about the country and what it has to offer. It then becomes easier for them to invest here.” He cited Australia as an example of a country that greatly benefitted from investments by Malaysians and other Asians due to tourism and education. “Many Malaysians send their children to Australia for education. Many of them visit the country often to check on their children and in the process get to know the country better and started investing in properties etc.” The dialogue session with Vandebon was highly appreciated as it gave the guests an insight into issues affecting trade and offered an opportunity for guests to ask questions and voice their opinions.



Chamber News

EUMCCI AGM officials from the Malaysian Government, Bilateral chambers and members were invited to participate fully in future VIP Luncheons as it gives their members a chance to voice their concerns to key decision makers. The 4th ASEAN EU Business Summit, organised jointly with EUABC, was another very successful event that brought together 200 people during the ASEAN Economic Minister’s meeting in Kuala Lumpur. To show their endorsement and support for the event, all the ASEAN Economic Ministers attended the closing ceremony. Other important matters that were brought up at the AGM included: The formation of Board committees. These Board committees are part of the Board’s vision for EUMCCI to be a “Chamber of Chambers.” Some of these Board committees such as the Membership Committe, Editorial Committee, Election Committee and Project Director are already operational. Messrs Baker Tilly Monteiro Heng were appointed as auditors in place of the retiring auditors.

The 22nd AGM of EUMCCI was held on 17th December 2015 at the Frasier Residences, Kuala Lumpur. There was excitement in the air because in this AGM, several resolutions to implement the “Chamber of Chambers” model were being put to vote. The Board had worked hard for several years to come up with a plan that would see the EUMCCI become a stronger platform for the EU-Malaysian business community. The good news was that all resolutions were passed with overwhelming support from the members. The passing of these resolutions will mean that EUMCCI, in collaboration with other European Chambers, will be able to evolve to a new level. The AGM started off with an overview of EUMCCI’s activities in 2015. Some of the major developments and events for EUMCCI were: The move to new office premises for EUMCCI. Some of the VIPs who attended the opening of the new office were Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, the Minister for International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, the Secretary General of MITI. The popular annual ‘Tastes of Europe 2015’ event was a huge success. For 2016, plans are afoot to ensure the event will be bigger and better with participation from all EU countries. EUMCCI will reach out to all EU representatives to ensure that as many countries as possible will take part in the 2016 event. Although EUMCCI had packed the

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whole of 2015 with important events, the 3rd quarter saw some of its most highly attended events ever. The popular VIP Luncheon series had the Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Zeti, as its guest speaker. This made this particular VIP Luncheon the most popular ever, with almost 200 people attending the event. As the VIP Luncheon speakers invited by EUMCCI are high profile ministers and


CORPORATE PARTNER BENEFITS NETWORK With over 30 events each year, the Chamber enables members to meet leaders in business and political spheres. COMMUNICATE The EUMCCI Quarterly Review reaches over 3000 companies, associations and stakeholders in hard copy and online. The EUMCCI e-bulletin is sent to over 6000 business leaders bi-monthly. EXPOSURE The Chamber is online at, on Facebook and Linked In. Advertise with us on our website and in our publications. MEMBER PERKS Attractive discounts from our member companies and vetted partners. INFLUENCE Raise issues via Committees and dialogues. ONLINE LISTING All members are entitled to a listing in our online directory with a weblink direct to their own website.

REACH OUT. CONNECT. REFER. Every time you refer a new member, you strengthen EUMCCI. A vital and growing EUMCCI membership means greater recognition of our collective VOICE. Why not reach out and share the same valuable opportunities with your colleagues? We know that you understand the value of your EUMCCI membership and now is the perfect time to reach out to your professional contacts and invite them to join EUMCCI. And, when you refer a new member, we want to reward you for every successful sign-up. WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU? You are the greatest testimony to the benefits of being an EUMCCI member. By referring others, you will:  Expand your network of industry peers  Strengthen EUMCCI — A vital and growing membership means greater recognition of the Chamber and OUR collective VOICE  Receive recognition for your recruitment efforts  Receive an exclusive complimentary invitation to our VIP event for every successful sign-up

To become a Corporate Partner contact us:; +603 2162 6298 or visit to sign up online.

EUMCCI MEMBER – GET – MEMBER CAMPAIGN 2016 Please fill in the information below and email to or fax: 603-2162 6198 A: REFERRER’S INFORMATION








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Chamber News

EUMCCI TRADE MISSION IN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY & HEALTHCARE EUMCCI organised a trade mission in medical technology and healthcare with the aim of exposing European medical and healthcare SMEs to the huge potential of doing business in Malaysia. The three-day trade mission started off on 29th February 2016 at the Prince Court Medical Centre, one of the premier private hospitals in Malaysia. “Private healthcare is very promising. There is a huge expansion in this sector, especially in the state of Johor,” said Dr. Chong Su Lin, CEO of Prince Court Medical Centre, who gave an overall view of the role of private health care in the country. Private hospitals, which were once concentrated in major towns, have started to expand to second tier towns. In terms of buying medical equipments, Dr Chong told the audience that Europe was the preferred country for most hospitals to procure their medical equipment. The market at present is dominated by three big European companies. There was room for other players to enter the Malaysian market. Other speakers who gave presentation were Mr. Danial Pans, Deputy Chairman EUMCCI, who talked about Malaysia and its economy. Malaysia’s fundamentals were still good, he said. Medical tourism has also boomed in this country. The highlight of the day was the guided tour of the hospital. Most of the visitors were surprised at the facilities and the size of the rooms, which were comparatively affordable. Later, Prince Court Medical Centre hosted the visitors to a lunch where they had a chance to ask more questions about the hospital from some of the staff



who joined them for lunch. The hospital certainly left an impression on the delegates. “It was brilliant. I had not expected to see such a modern and hi-tech hospital here in Kuala Lumpur,” said Anna Hegmann, the business development manager for Cura Medical, a Dutch medical device company. Equally impressed was Dr Jean Blondeel, the director of A&B Partners International Business Developers, who brought the European companies for this trade mission. “From what I have seen, the quality of service and care is amazing! It’s top notch and comparable to the best hospitals in the world.” The three-day visit included visits to two other private hospitals: Columbia Asia Hospital and KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital. There was also a workshop and presentation by MediConsult, a company that oversees the complete design and planning of hospitals for over 15 countries.

In addition to the three-day business matching sessions in the afternoon, the delegates were treated to a workshop by Philips Healthcare followed by a networking reception hosted by the The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Harry Molenaar and The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, H.E. Daniel Dargent, on 3rd March.

LOOKING FOR A BUSINESS PARTNER IN THE EU? EUMCCI Review magazine is the official publication of the EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The quarterly publication is the voice of a business community that’s vibrant and dynamic. Analysts believe that the EU-Malaysia trade relations is set to see tremendous growth. EUMCCI Review is an excellent medium to showcase your company, products or services. Your products and services will reach the business community that you are targeting. Advertise with EUMCCI Review and grow from strength to strength!

EU-MALAYSIA TRADE • ASEAN is EU’s third largest trading partner after the US and China. • In ASEAN, Malaysia is EU’s second largest trading partner. • Malaysia is EU’s 23rd largest trading partner in the world. • With the implementation of Economic Transformation Programme and the private sector driving the economy, the opportunity for trade between EU and Malaysia has increased. • Trade between EU and Malaysia will grow even further when the free trade agreement is concluded between EU and Malaysia. • E UMCCI Review is ideally positioned to ride this wave of optimism about the future prospects of trade between EU and Malaysia.


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DISTRIBUTION • E U Bilateral Business Councils / Chambers • Embassies • E U diplomats • Business information counters at KLIA & MIDA • E U Delegations & EuroChambers in SEA • Chambers of Commerce in Europe, Government agencies & organisations in Malaysia

• European Business Organisation Network & EU-ASEAN Business Council

• Executive lounges at hotels • Sold in all leading bookshops nationwid TARGET MARKET Business community with a vested interest in the growth of trade and investment between EU and Malaysia.

MAGAZINE DETAILS • Frequency: Quarterly • Issue: March, June, September & December

For Advertising Enquiries HARINI MANAGEMENT SERVICES SDN BHD (609031-W) W-9-12 Menara Melawangi, Amcorp Trade Centre, 18 Persiaran Barat, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. EUMCCI REVIEW Tel: 603-7932 3259 E-mail:


Corporate Partner News Corporate Partner News

A BANNER YEAR FOR KUALA LUMPUR CONVENTION CENTRE 2015 was a successful year for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre). It not only turned 10 years old but hosted an impressive line-up of high-profile international events such as the 26th & 27th ASEAN Summits and related Summits; 128th International Olympic Committee Session Global Food Safety Conference 2015; and 18th Human Genome Meeting 2015, among others. These contributed to the Centre’s total of 1,230 events last year which attracted close to 1.8 million delegates. Since the opening of the Centre it had hosted 11,199 events, welcomed close to 19.4 million delegates and contributed over RM6.1 billion to the Malaysian economy. The Centre has also achieved the best annual revenue total last year, a record 98% occupancy rate in August, and bestowed seven industry awards. The Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor said that apart from its outstanding location, world-class facilities, gastronomic excellence, and established industry relationships, the Centre’s enduring success could be accredited to its award-winning team of professionals who consistently deliver innovative, and value-added solutions to clients.



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ANOTHER FEATHER IN THE CAP FOR ONE WORLD HOTEL One World Hotel Petaling Jaya outshined 14 other renowned nominees around the world to make history – being Malaysia’s first independent 5-star hotel to be crowned ‘World’s Leading Meeting & Conference Hotel’ for the second time. One World Hotel’s owner and director, Tan Sri Dato’ Teo Chiang Hong, was overjoyed to receive the prestigious award from World Travel Awards’ President, Graham Cooke, at the Grand Final Gala ceremony at the luxurious Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in El Jadida, Morocco, on 12th December 2015. In the running were other globally renowned establishments such as Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo, Brazil; InterContinental Melbourne; The Rialto, Australia; Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, UAE and MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, USA, among others. Known as the ‘Oscars of the Travel Industry’, the World Travel Awards, now in its 22nd year, recognises the remarkable achievements and excellence in products and services across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

QATAR AIRWAYS SPREADS ITS WINGS TO BIRMINGHAM With 21 excellent flights connections to/from Kuala Lumpur via Doha, Qatar Airways will begin a new service between Doha and Birmingham, England, from 30th March. The airline will operate eight flights a week (including two on Saturdays) between the airline’s state-of-the-art hub Hamad International Airport at Doha and Birmingham, further expanding its existing network within the United Kingdom. It currently flies to London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh. Operating the route is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which has a two-cabin configuration, 22 Business Class seats and 232 Economy Class seats. The Business Class has aisle seats where passengers can either sleep in a fully-flat bed or catch up on their work using the large work surface area. All passengers can also enjoy the airline’s award-winning service, excellent Wi-Fi connectivity, and up to 2,000 of the latest inflight entertainment options.

The new route further strengthens Qatar Airways’ commitment to the UK regions, with Birmingham being the centre for the largest concentration of businesses outside of London, boasting 34,285 companies including over 700 international firms. The city attracts nearly 34 million people a year for both business and pleasure and is situated at the centre of the UK’s rail and motorway network. With 21 flights weekly from Kuala Lumpur to Doha, passengers from Malaysia can now connect seamlessly to Birmingham and Qatar Airways’ ever-expanding global network. For more information, log on to


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Corporate Partner News Corporate Partner News

GRAND MILLENNIUM KL WHERE SUMMITEERS MEET The 5-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held in Kuala Lumpur in November last year, saw the Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur housing the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, amongst many other VVIP dignitaries, as well as the US White House Press Corps. The bilateral meetings between Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon were also held at the hotel. Held annually by members of ASEAN, the Summit is a formal meeting to discuss economic, cultural development and other issues in Southeast Asian countries.


Shearn Delamore & Co, one of the leading law firms in Malaysia, has promoted Foong Pui Chi as a partner of the firm effective 1st January 2016. Foong has been a member of Shearn Delamore & Co.’s Tax and Revenue Practice Group since 2007. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from the University of London in 2005 and the Certificate in Legal Practice in 2006, and was admitted to practice as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya the following year. She has been recognised as Tax Counsel in the 2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 editions of the International Tax Review and she was also recently named as one of the nominees for the award of “Rising Star in Tax” at the Euromoney Legal Media Group Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2015. Foong has appeared as Counsel for taxpayers in numerous tax appeals before the Special Commissioners of Income Tax and judicial review applications as well as other tax proceedings before the Superior Courts of Malaysia. Foong also practices in the area of privacy and personal data protection laws. She has regularly contributed articles on Malaysian Revenue Law to tax and accounting journals such as the Tax Guardian (published by the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia) and The Malaysian Accountant (published by the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants). She is one of the authors of Bloomberg BNA’s Business Operations in Malaysia.



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IMPORTED SNACKS & GOODS NOW AVAILABLE ON TheBigBox.Asia Take note, all snack lovers! TheBigBox.Asia is offering Malaysians a chance to sample imported delights at affordable prices, from an online plaza of goodies – Delacre from Belgium, Compal Juices from Portugal, and Elle & Vire and BN biscuits from France, among other continental brands. “TheBigBox.Asia was specially created to offer the Malaysian consumer a greater variety of imported food products,” said Christine Foo, Country Manager of DPO’s Consumer Foods Division. “In Malaysia, there is a demand for imported products that use quality assured ingredients; it is this demand we wish to meet, and of

course to simply satisfy all our treat lovers who want a greater selection of delights!” she added. TheBigBox.Asia applies DPO’s substantial market IQ in its vigilant selection of premier products, offering tasty, fine quality treats at consumer-friendly prices. TheBigBox.Asia currently covers categories such as confectionaries, juices, dairies and grocery products and is ever expanding their line of offerings with incoming imported delights from Cadbury, MARS, Kinder, Kellogg’s and more. To satisfy your inner cravings, visit www.TheBigBox.Asia

FRASER PLACE KUALA LUMPUR WINNER IN 2016 TRIPADVISOR TRAVELLERS' CHOICE AWARDS Fraser Place Kuala Lumpur is the winner in the hotels category of the 2016 TripAdvisor Travellers’ ChoiceTM awards for Hotels, ranking 21 out of Top 25 Luxury hotels in Malaysia. “We are much honored to receive this award for the 6th consecutive year as it continuously exhibits the satisfaction and enjoyment our guests experience by staying with us,” said Shirley Lai, Group General Manager of Fraser Place Kuala Lumpur. “We congratulate the properties that have won Travellers’ Choice Hotel awards,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “As travellers consider where to book their next trip, they should be sure to check out these award-winners that have already delighted millions of members of the TripAdvisor community.” TripAdvisor highlighted the world’s top properties based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from travellers around the globe. Winners were identified in the categories of Top Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Luxury, Service and Small Hotels. The hallmarks of Travellers’ Choice winners are remarkable service, quality and value. EUMCCI REVIEW

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NEW ROAD BURNERS ARRIVE IN MALAYSIA Car enthusiasts will be thrilled that three European marques in speed and luxury – Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW – have launched their latest driving machines in Malaysia. There is no doubt that these new high-performance machines, with all the right ingredients, will deliver an exhilarating ride.

JAGUAR XE The XE is the world’s first car to be made from high-strength recycled aluminium alloy. It is also Jaguar’s most advanced and aerodynamically efficient lightweight sports sedan by far. Iconic, muscular on the outside, and supported by an 111.6-inch wheelbase, the XE scores with a spacious interior that wears a luxurious, handcrafted feel. Outfitted with a double wishbone and Integral Link suspension for precision handling, this range of the agile cat promises a quality ride. Three variants of the petrol-driven XE – The Prestige, R-Sport and S – are available.

MERCEDES-BENZ PREMIUM SUV RANGE The Mercedes-Benz GLC is the premium mid-sized SUV that complements the active lifestyle of car enthusiasts. With AMG body styling, the GLC has a sporty look. The sports-tuned suspension allows a sportier style of driving without compromising on comfort. Its agility and sportiness are further enhanced by the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive and 9G-TRONIC – the automatic transmission that takes efficiency, comfort and dynamism to a completely new level. A wide range of the state-of-the-art safety and assistance systems, such as LED Intelligent Light System, Pre-safe system and Collision Prevention Assist Plus are there to provide protection in any situation.



BMW 7 SERIES Now in its sixth generation, BMW’s latest 7 Series flagship luxury saloon range makes a groundbreaking leap in technology, dynamism and luxury. The new 7 Series – 730Li and 740Li – embodies the contemporary yet future-focused interpretation of driving pleasure coupled with its prestigious appearance, fine luxury interior and new ground in intuitive operation and intelligent connectivity. The new 7 Series is the first car in its segment to have Carbon-Fibre-Reinforced-Plastic (CFRP) and enjoys selflevelling suspension, 3D infrared gesture control, a “Sky Lounge”, LED-based lighting installation and many other savvy tech supplements.

New Corporate Partners

International SOS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

JTI Malaysia

International SOS is the world’s leading medical & travel security risk services company operating from over 850 locations in 92 countries with 11,000 employees led by 1,400 doctors and 200 security specialists. Our global services include assessing medical and travel security risks, advising on preventative programmes with in-country expertise and assisting with emergency response for business travellers and global assignees.

JTI Malaysia manufactures and markets worldrenowned cigarette brands such as Mevius, Winston and Camel, which constitutes the core of its brand portfolio. Its Malaysian headquarters is located at Damansara Heights in Kuala Lumpur, while the manufacturing facilities are located in Shah Alam, Selangor.

Person-in-Charge: Mr. David Ng Address: B-15, Menara NU2, 203, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, KL Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603-2787 3000 Fax: +603-2787 3030 Email: Website:

Person-in-Charge: Mr. Daniel Lui Address: 6th Floor, Menara Manulife, No. 6, Jalan Gelenggang, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603-2094 9011 Fax: +603-2095 0049 Email: Website:

Hans Advisory & Trust Co. Ltd

Etihad Airways

Hans Advisory Trust Co Ltd is a licensed trust company that provides a full range of services for the setting up of onshore and offshore companies, business and cross border investments. Hans’ professional team, comprising certified public accountants, lawyers and engineers, also provides corporate and individual tax planning, applications for business licences as well as employment passes and visas for expatriates living in Malaysia.

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE which began operations in November 2003, connects Malaysia to the world with its twice daily flights from KLIA via its Abu Dhabi hub. The national carrier is considered to be one of the fastest growing airlines in the history of commercial aviation. To book, visit

People-in-Charge: Ms.Tang Kae Sue & Ms. Elaine Tew Address: A020, Level 1, Podium Level, Financial Park, 87000 Labuan FT, Malaysia Tel: +6011–1299 7745 / +6012–3191 310 Fax: +6087–427 745 Email: / Website:

Person-in-Charge: Jane Samynadan & Su-Ann Lee Address: Suite 32.2, Level 32, Menara Standard Chartered, No. 30, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250, Kuala Lumpur Tel: +603–2687 2222 Fax: +603–2687 2200 Email: Website:



Here is the line up of recent and upcoming events organised or supported by EUMCCI. The dates and venues for the upcoming events have not been finalized. Please refer to the Corporate News 2016 Partner EUMCCI website – – for the latest updates on the events.




Date: 8th & 9th December 2015 Time: 9am – 6pm Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton KL @ Jalan Tun Razak

Date: 2nd December 2015 Time: 5.30pm – 8pm Venue: Banquet Hall, Level 3, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre



Date: 10th December 2015 Time: 9am – 11am Venue: Reflexion, Level 3A, Connexion, Bangsar South

Date: 7th December 2015 Time: 6pm – 8pm Venue: Tosca Poolside, DoubleTree by Hilton KL @ Jalan Tun Razak

CAL E N DAR UPCOMING EVENTS SEBSEAM-M PROFESSIONAL SERVICES SECTOR – CONSTRUCTION AND VIRTUAL DESIGN SEMINARS Date: 13th April 2016 Time: 10.30am – 3.45pm Venue: Hospitality Lounge @ KLCC, Kuala Lumpur Conference Centre

CHAMBER CONSULTATION WITH H.E. LUC VANDEBON AND EU DELEGATION Date: 21st April 2016 Time: 9am – 11am Venue: EU Delegation Conference Room, Menara Tan & Tan, Kuala Lumpur (By invitation only)



EU-MALAYSIA TRADE & INVESTMENT FORUM 2016 Date: 20th April 2016 Time: 9am – 2pm Venue: DoubleTree by Hilton KL @ Jalan Tun Razak

TASTES OF EUROPE FEST 2016 Date: 6th May 2016 Time: 6pm – 10pm Venue: Berjaya Times Square Hotel

EU PAVILION AT RAIL SOLUTIONS MALAYSIA Date: 11th to 13th May 2016 Time: 9am – 5pm Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur


Jambatan on 99 July July 2008 2008 isis wholly whollyowned ownedbybythe theMinister MinisterofofFinance FinanceIncorporatIncorporatJambatanKedua KeduaSdn SdnBhd Bhd (JKSB), (JKSB), incorporated incorporated on ededisisthe operate and and maintain maintain the the Second SecondPenang PenangBridge. Bridge.JKSB JKSBisisananISO ISO theconcessionaire concessionaire toto construct, construct, manage, manage, operate certified organisation with certification in QMS 9001, EMS 14001 and OHSAS 18001. It is also going towards certificacertified organisation with certification in QMS 9001, EMS 14001 and OHSAS 18001. It is also going towards certification tionofofISO ISO55001. 55001. JKSB’s Kuala Lumpur Lumpur and and the thebridge’s bridge’soperations operationslocated locatedatatthe theAdminisAdminisJKSB’smain mainoffice officeisis located located atat Bukit Bukit Damansara, Damansara, Kuala tration building in Batu Kawan. Launched under the Ninth Malaysian Plan, the Second Penang Bridge project willnot not tration building in Batu Kawan. Launched under the Ninth Malaysian Plan, the Second Penang Bridge project will only the Penang Penang Island Island toto the the Mainland, Mainland,but butititisisalso alsoseen seenasasaacatalyst catalystforfor onlybe beproviding providing an an alternative alternative route route linking linking the the in the the Northern Northern Corridor Corridor Economic EconomicRegion Region(NCER). (NCER). thesocio-economic socio-economic development development and and growth growth in Jambatan (JSAHMS) was was officially officiallyopened openedbybyYAB YABDato’ Dato’Sri SriMohd MohdNajib Najibbin binTun Tun JambatanSultan SultanAbdul Abdul Halim Halim Mu’adzam Mu’adzam Shah Shah (JSAHMS) Abdul on 11 March March 2014. 2014. Toll Toll collections collectionsstarted startedonon11April April2014. 2014. AbdulRazak, Razak,the thePrime Prime Minister Minister ofof Malaysia Malaysia on Construction 2009. ItIt links links Batu Batu Kawan Kawanon onthe themainland mainlandtotoBatu BatuMaung Maungononthe the ConstructionofofJSAHMS JSAHMS started started inin 8th 8th November November 2009. island Southeast Asia. Asia. islandand andititisiscurrently currently the the longest longest bridge bridge in in Southeast Jambatan JambatanKedua Kedua Sdn Sdn Bhd Bhd 4th 4thFloor, Floor,Bangunan Bangunan Setia Setia 1, 1, 15 Lorong Dungun, Bukit Damansara, 15 Lorong Dungun, Bukit Damansara, 50490 50490Kuala KualaLumpur. Lumpur. Malaysia Malaysia Tel: Tel:+603-2084 +603-20845000 5000 Fax: Fax: +603-2084 +603-2084 5103 Hotline: Hotline:1300-30-2828 1300-30-2828


EUMCCI REVIEW /jsahmsofficial /jsahmsofficial @jsahmsofficial @jsahmsofficial




Profile for Harini Management Services Sdn Bhd

EUMCCI Review|Vol 4|No 1|2016|Dato Ir Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib Jambatan Kedua JKSB  

EUMCCI Review magazine is the official publication of the European Union Chamber of Commerce (EUMCCI) in Malaysia, produced by Harini Manage...

EUMCCI Review|Vol 4|No 1|2016|Dato Ir Dr Ismail Mohamed Taib Jambatan Kedua JKSB  

EUMCCI Review magazine is the official publication of the European Union Chamber of Commerce (EUMCCI) in Malaysia, produced by Harini Manage...