How Covid-19 Affected the Market?

‘Girl ah, no need to go to work today meh?’

‘I’m working from home today mom!’

After the past 3 years of the global pandemic, I think it is safe to say that it has changed most of our lives in many aspects, namely our work, behavior, education system and also communication. However, during the phase where we face all changes and major effects of our life, our global market has been changing too.

I attended a talk registered by my company recently. I think I can say it is one of the most technical talks I’ve ever attended throughout the past 20 years of my life. Don’t get me wrong, the speakers were great! I just had to put in more effort into understanding certain points highlighted by the speakers (Sad truth, turns out that my understanding capabilities aren’t that great after all).

Mr Hor Kwok Wai, Chief Operating Officer of Hong Leong Bank Global Markets, stated in his talk that after 25 years being in the market, he has not seen a market like how it is today with inflation rates going high globally. According to him, the previous time the market reached this stage was in the late 70’s or 80’s, which was a long time ago.

The inflation has not turned around yet, and it is now at 4%, looking to raise to 5%’

Scary right? I don’t know about all of you, but it scares me thinking that prices of meat and vegetables will continue to rise [*cries*]. However, Mr Hor believes that all these are close to an end. He mentioned that if the inflation rate stops next month in the U.S, ours should stop by January too.

With the inflation going on, there were questions going around on whether dollar currency is soon to collapse. That was when Mr Hor’s colleague came into the picture. He mentioned the top 10 major export and import countries, which includes Singapore and China as the two major ones. For the export countries, he mentioned that Singapore takes up about 14.7%, which holds the value of around 170 billion ringgit. China on the other hand takes up about 13.4%, with only about 8% received in RMB. This is because, most of the time, exports to China are usually in the form of USD. Hence, he states that the Dollar will not collapse in the near future.

Going through the Covid-19 pandemic, I’m sure many of you reaching out to foreign clients have been wondering,

‘With the world facing global pandemic, how will I be able to get foreign clients to

purchase my services and my items?’

Well, good news! After listening to Mr Zulqarnain, assistant director of MATRADE, and one of the speakers during the talk, I came to realize that MATRADE can provide great help to Malaysian businesses. According to Mr Zulqarnain, MATRADE supports the businesses of Malaysians, by connecting Malaysian companies with foreign clients. Some ways which were explained by Mr Zulqarnain are through Market Development Grant (MDG), Services Export Fund (SEF) and e Trade Programme 2.0. I personally find it great how MARTRADE offers such programmes, especially during this hard phase we are all going through.

Mr Terrence Ho, the Head and Practitioner in Sales, Product, Projects, Leadership and Management of Hong Leong Bank, highlighted that with the pandemic, the flood and the war happening between Ukraine and Russia, it has brought upon many challenges. The inability to submit original documents during MCO to draw on Trade financing, the inability of customers to present original transport documents to the bank, and many more. Good thing is that solutions have been devised and most of the challenges have been solved.

To be very honest, at this point of the talk, it started to get tiring, especially when it was towards the second half of the day. However, great speakers indeed have great ways to keep their listeners focused.

Mr Mohd Fairuz, Director of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), explained many features on how MIDA can benefit Malaysian businesses. One of them was E-Stats Data, which is a portal that can help provide investors and business communities with latest details and information on the new upcoming projects of the country, which will benefit the business development opportunities or companies.

It is great to know that Malaysian businesses have the support and help from various organizations. I feel grateful to get the opportunity to listen to the 5 great speakers in the Hong Leong Bank Business & Corporate Banking Pocket Talk jointly with MIDA & MATRADE.

Click into to know more about MATRADE

Click into for further information on MIDA

Click into for further information on Hong Leong Bank

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