KUALA LUMPUR – A recent index has ranked Malaysia as the third most competitive Global Business Service (GBS) location in the world.
According to global consulting firm Kearney, its 2021 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) had ranked India and China ahead of Malaysia with each of the countries scoring 7.09, 6.80, and 6.22 respectively.
Additionally, out of the index’s top 10, Asian countries ranked in seven of the top 10 spots for most competitive GBS locations in the world.
This index, which is published every two years, tracks the worldwide landscape among 60 nations for four major categories, namely financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, business climate, and digital resonance.
Joon Teoh, a business transformation consultant, stated that a GBS location enables large multinational corporations (MNCs) or organisations to centralise their business operations and activities including finance, human resource, information technology (IT), and procurement aspects, in certain countries in order to provide shared services.
Among the MNCs with GBS centres in Malaysia are Shell, British American Tobacco, Bash, and AstraZeneca, she said.
In a recent interview with Bernama, Teoh said that the World Health Organization (WHO) also has a GBS centre in Malaysia, adding that the country’s main draw is the diversity of expertise which includes the multiple languages that Malaysians speak that are able to serve different countries.
She stated that GBS centres serve their own people in corporations and organisations worldwide.
“For instance, if any of their employees, regardless of location, are required to go overseas, their plane tickets, payments, etc. will be handled by the GBS centres located in Malaysia or other countries,” she added.
She explained that GBS centres are able to do that due to technology as a digital platform is needed for the individuals to submit their claims of purchase airline tickets, or even for suppliers to deliver their invoices.
GBS important part of 12MP
Teoh stated that the Malaysian government has long emphasised the growth of GBS in the country, including highlighting the significance of the sector in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
She explained that this is due to the fact that establishing a GBS centre could mean they may employ 150 to over a thousand people, which would not only provide numerous employment possibilities but also aid in the digitalisation of Malaysia.
She said that the government is seeking to place the GBS sector on a value curve trajectory as it would be impossible for Malaysia to compete against China and India when it comes to volume and talent.
She added that the sector could only achieve this by delivering high-level capabilities to match the requirements of the digital transformation.
That will be where Malaysia’s value proposition lies, with GBS centres transforming into centres of excellence under the leadership of local teams to conduct various research and development initiatives, including robotic process automation and analytics, she said.
Furthermore, in the next five years, according to the 12MP, the emphasis will be on speeding the growth of strategic and high-impact industries, such as electrical and electronics, global services (GS), and aerospace.
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