Malaysia has enjoyed many years of booming property, which is why the current slowdown is promoted by the central bank to ensure growth is more sustainable in the long-term, and with new infrastructure spend by the government, this will open up new areas for property developments and townships. This year’s low oil and commodity prices, goods and services tax (GST) implementation and the depreciation of the ringgit, have also affected disposable income and investment decisions. Nonetheless, we are optimistic in the long run. Our nation’s flagship economic programme, the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), is on track to propel Malaysia to become a developed nation by 2020, with a GNI per capita of $15,000. Following the launch of the ETP in 2010, Malaysia’s growth in private investments has increased by more than double, and for the first half of 2015, its recorded private investments reached close to MYR 108.5bn ($25.05bn). This total, coupled with a track record of high pipeline investments, signifies continued confidence in Malaysia as an attractive nation for investment.

In 2014, Malaysia recorded a GDP growth rate of six percent, and although 2015 proved to be a challenging year for the global economy, the Malaysian Government is resolute in sustaining its momentum and targeting growth between 4.5 and 5.5 percent. In the announced budget for 2016, an allocation of MYR 267.2bn ($62.7bn) was pledged to secure the sustainability of Malaysia’s growth through areas such as road projects, mass rapid transit and light rail transit lines.

Globally, the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland ranks Malaysia as the 14th most competitive nation among 61 economies. While the World Bank reports that Malaysia is the 18th easiest place to do business among 189 companies and the World Economic Forum lists it as the 18th most competitive country out of 140 economies. Additionally, our participation in the ASEAN Community and in both the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement are further incentives for businesses to invest in Malaysia as a gateway to larger and more robust markets.

What are the biggest opportunities for property companies in Malaysia?

Master-planned residences, offices, retail and other amenities that are integrated within a neighbourhood and located close to quality public transportation are the biggest opportunities for property companies in Malaysia.

The 800-acre Sunway Resort City is the country’s first fully integrated green township as certified by the Green Building Index (GBI) of Malaysia. It is Sunway’s flagship township development, which has been transformed from a tin-mining wasteland into a sterling example of a transit-oriented community where people live, learn, work and play in a safe, healthy and connected environment. People of all ages and incomes have greater access to jobs and opportunities within the city, while also leading affordable and healthy lifestyles. Carbon footprint and transportation costs are also reduced, allowing residents more disposable income and spending power. Today Sunway Resort City welcomes 42 million visits annually and is home to more than 200,000 people, including a student population of 25,000.