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Making Malaysia a professional services hub by 2030

LETTERS: THE Malaysia Productivity Blueprint (MPB) categorises Malaysia's professional services into accounting, advertising, architectural, engineering, legal and management consultancy.

The professional services subsector supports trade and businesses and contributes to the service industry.

MPB has identified professional services as one of the priority subsectors in increasing Malaysia's productivity growth.

The Professional Services Productivity Nexus (PSPN) has been formed under Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) to facilitate professional services to reinforce sector-level productivity.

The long-term plan is to position Malaysia as a professional services hub by 2030.

The six professional service groups need to align their vision towards the same goal.

Malaysia's professional services have the potential to expand domestically and internationally.

In cementing Malaysia's position as the professional services hub by 2030, stakeholders need to align their efforts with global megatrends in the subsector.

The business-and employee-centric megatrends in professional services work as parameters in building the structure for Malaysia as the subsector's hub.

Business-centric megatrend in professional services is marked by digital transformation from automation and artificial intelligence for faster and more efficient service delivery.

Digitalisation offers opportunities for professional service firms to improve business models and create new offerings.

Professional service businesses are also affected by globalisation and many firms' virtual transformation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the shift towards virtual and hybrid modes of collaborations and coordination.

The trend gives access to new markets and customer base.

Other new business-centric trends to observe are the modularisation and value-driven revenue models, which can increase the focus on customer service and customisation of services.

From the employee-centric perspective, the professional services subsector is characterised by the entry of new generations of workers, such as the purpose-driven GenY and Z, sparking a novel working culture that emphasises flexibility and a work-life balance.

The rise of platform workers and freelance consultants is another trend in professional services.

Another megatrend sees a work culture that is more tech-enabled for team engagement.

Malaysia's vision of propelling its professional services to a higher level does respond to the megatrends, signalling the right track to position the country as a hub for professional services by 2030.

In the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), 2021-2025, the professional services subsector is encouraged to provide high value-added services by adopting Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The 12MP emphasises that technological innovations are changing how businesses operate and deliver services.

Professional services industry players need to move up the value chain and should focus on accelerating high value-added activities and adapting technological changes to improve labour productivity.

These efforts are projected to transform service delivery and provide better customer service.

The 12MP also emphasises the shift to a knowledge-based services sector, which requires talent to be equipped with professional and practical skills.

In this regard, the tech-savvy generation, equipped with digital skills and knowledge, form a workforce poised to face rapid technological changes.

Malaysia's move to become a professional services hub by 2030 is expected to be guided by thrusts that align with productivity key drivers stipulated in the Malaysia Productivity Blueprint (MPB).

Technology and innovation, service internationalisation and integration, market-driven talent, and business environment will influence initiatives to position Malaysia as a professional services hub.

CHOO KOK BENG

Professional Services Productivity Nexus

Kuala Lumpur

Source: New Straits Times

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