Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Economic Model should leverage Malaysia's diversity

The New Economic Model (NEM) should leverage Malaysia's diversity in a methodical way by providing support for Malaysian companies to expand regionally, CIMB Group Chief Executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said today.

"What has worked for CIMB and Axiata, YTL and AirAsia can work for Malaysia. Such companies draw on the talent of Malaysians wherever they are located," he said in a luncheon address at MCA Chinese Economic Congress here.

"We need even more Malaysian companies, even at the small and medium scale enterprise (SME) level to go trans-national," Nazir said, adding that he is looking forward to the NEM creating a framework for spurring growth and the proliferation of Malaysian trans-national companies.

He said the value of diversity is well-understood in the business world.
"Diversity in portfolios can mitigate risk, diversity in the sales force translates into better client coverage and diversity in thinking broadens the range of our solutions," he said.

He said diversity fosters the creativity and cultural adeptness needed to build and grow regional businesses.

Nazir pointed out that CIMB has been a great beneficiary of Malaysian diversity.

"Our organisation has grown from a predominantly Malaysian investment bank in 2005 into a leading Asean universal bank in just five years," he said.

Over this period, he said, CIMB's market capitalisation went from RM5 billion to RM50 billion, staff strength has grown from 1,000 to over 36,000 and today, has over 20 different nationalities within its ranks.

He said CIMB now serves over 10 million customers across Southeast Asia from large corporates to SMEs to individual retail clients.

"The diversity of our people and their very Malaysian ability to adapt to create value across a range of cultural settings have been key to our success," he added

*Taken from NST Online

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