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PETALING JAYA: Despite the current global economic challenges, local business leaders believe Malaysia is well positioned in the fast growing digital and technology sectors, according to comments released today by Juwai IQI co-founder and group CEO Kashif Ansari (pic).

“Malaysia is a fast-developing centre for digital technology and high-tech manufacturing. Global investment in technology is expected to climb 5.1% in 2023, according to a forecast by Gartner, and we will see a similar increase in Malaysia. Technology investment in Malaysia will climb despite inflation because these investments improve productivity impact on real estate,” said Ansari.

“The projected growth in tech investment will have an impact on real estate. We expect new demand to manifest in the manufacturing, logistics, and alternative commercial property sectors as existing users expand and new users enter the market. We expect to release a more detailed market forecast later in the first half,” he added.

Over the long term, he said a thriving white-collar technology sector will tend to drive up property demand and prices in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Johor. Even with increasing remote work, he added, these employees prefer to be in the city, where they are closer to services, entertainment, job opportunities, and a community of other workers like themselves.

“Our experience at Juwai IQI is a perfect example of where Malaysian business is heading. IQI started as a real estate company, but even traditional sectors like real estate increasingly rely on technology, data, and digital services. Today, even with 30,000 agents, we consider ourselves as much a technology company as a real estate company, said Ansari.

He added that Malaysia has the advantage of a good business environment, which is in part established by government initiatives in education, tax incentives, and supportive investment.”

Economically, he said Malaysia is in a surprisingly good situation, given the unexpected price and supply chain shocks that came one after another in 2022. Higher interest rates will cause gross domestic product growth rates to moderate in 2023.

Positive factors that support the economy include domestic demand, household disposable income, higher employment, and a rebound in tourism visits.

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