Launch of the AHK World Business Outlook (Asean Focus) 2019 report

German Survey: Business Optimism on Track to Improve

Kuala Lumpur, 21 June 2019 – The German Chambers ASEAN Business Council (GCABC) released the results of the AHK World Business Outlook 2019 survey today, revealing the opinions of German business leaders across Southeast Asian markets, amid the pressures of a global economic slowdown.

GCABC, consisting of the seven German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (AHKs) in the ASEAN region, namely the chambers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, conducted the survey using a sample size based on Germany’s vast network of 2,600 members companies in seven countries across Southeast Asia.

The results captured the hopeful confidence of German investors regarding developments in the Southeast Asian region, with the majority of this year’s participants having a cautious view on future market positions. Political stability and talent shortage were cited as the top external factors impacting overall investment decisions. Furthermore, the survey revealed the risk-averse attitudes of German businesses toward a host country’s inflation rate, corruption levels, taxes and financial access.

The data obtained makes a rigorous comparison between the current situation to the previous year and forecasts for the year ahead. Results for Malaysia showed an emboldened optimism for an improved economy under the new “Malaysia Baharu” government. Of the companies surveyed, 33 per cent expected to see their investments increase significantly in the country.

Commenting on the survey, chief executive officer of the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC), Daniel Bernbeck said: “The German economy mainly consists of SMEs. Many of these companies are family-owned and require stable, reliable and predictable frameworks and conditions. This is why, over the years the questions on political and economic factors as well as political stability and rule of law in the respective markets always form the most important sentiments for business people.”

“Germany’s vast worldwide network of Chambers of Commerce and Industry draws its strength from the direct outreach to the businesses of all sectors. By reflecting the plain views and expectations of private sector entrepreneurs, this survey honestly portrays where they have concerns as well as where they see opportunities. It serves other business folks as well and could be useful for many members of public sector, administration as well as governments,” Bernbeck added.

The AHK World Business Outlook 2019 report was launched in conjunction with the Automotive Industry in Malaysia Discussion at Colony@Eco City, Kuala Lumpur, a premier networking and market information event organised for MGCC members.

MGCC, being one of the most active in this survey, undertook the qualitative research project for its sister Chambers. The report is available for download at