Local SMEs benefited from US-China trade war, says banker

HSBC Malaysia commercial banking country head Andrew Sill says in the interim of the trade war, SMEs had the opportunity to benefit from the uncertainty it created.

KUALA LUMPUR: Local small-medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from the trade war between the United States and Beijing, HSBC Malaysia said.

Its commercial banking country head Andrew Sill said while nobody would benefit from a long-term trade war, Malaysia, in the interim, had been a beneficiary.

Sill said he had witnessed an increase in manufacturing investment into Malaysia as manufacturers had identified the country as an alternative base, with Asean – of which Malaysia is a member country – as an important hub.

Over 200 of the largest companies are headquartered in Asean, Sill noted, and the region’s manufacturing capabilities, namely in the automotive and electronics sectors, were embedded in the world’s trade and supply chains.

“In the interim period, Malaysian SMEs had the opportunity to benefit from some of the uncertainties the trade war created,” he told reporters here.

Sill was asked to comment on the impact of the trade truce signed between Washington and China on SMEs.

The trade tensions, he added, had made Malaysia an attractive alternative for investment.

“In the broadest sense, the incentives and government schemes and the facilitating of businesses stand up favourably.”

The US and China signed a truce in their trade war on Wednesday after nearly two years of tensions, bringing relief to markets but largely leaving massive tariffs in place.