New Straits Times

Women own one in five companies in Malaysia

Women are opened an average of 10,000 companies annually within a five-year period

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 5:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 5:06pm

By Veena Babulal

One in five companies in Malaysia, are owned by women, according to the latest national economic census released by the country’s statistics department.

The department’s chief statistician Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said as of 2015, 187,264 companies of the 920,624 active establishments nationwide were owned by women.

He also said that the fairer sex’s contribution to the economy rose from 19.2 per cent or 127,422 companies in 2010 to 20.3 per cent or 187,264 companies in 2015.

“This means women opened an average of 10,000 companies annually within the five year period,” Uzir said after presenting the 2016 National Economic Census at the Companies Commission of Malaysia headquarters.

The economic census is the fourth since 2000 and the latest census covers the period between 2010 and 2015.

He said the biggest leap in women’s ownership was seen in the agricultural sector where women owned 1,541 companies in 2015 or almost three times more companies in the sector compared to 2010, where it only owned 580 companies.

Uzir also said that women made up 51.4 per cent of the workforce in 2015 that put it on track for the 2020 targets.

On the apparent slow growth rate or the 1.1 per cent rise of female company ownership in the five years as well as their overall participation in the workforce, Uzir said the issue was not a harbinger of women’s incompatibility in the workforce or lack of participation.

“Unlike before, there are women nowadays who opt to give up their professional jobs to raise the family as their husbands take on the duty of earning for the household.

“They can be deemed as professional housewives who also contribute towards the nation’s human capital development as they are taking time off to concentrate on their children or the next generation in Malaysia’s workforce.”

“It is also high time that the government looked to studying the economic contribution of homemakers because they too are participants in the economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uzir refuted claims that Malaysia is a failed state. He said the economy was experiencing sound growth following the rising dominance of the services sector citing that 88.9 per cent of about 920,000 active companies in Malaysia were from the services sector.

“Manufacturing (sector) contributed to RM1.1 trillion (US$2.6 billion) Gross National Output in 2015 and services came in second RM964.7 billion (US$225 billion), it contributes to largest chunk of the RM983.0 billion (US$229 billion) in added value during the period,” said Uzir is dispelling the allegations by certain quarters.

He also said that this was an indicator that the country is headed towards the status of a developed nation. Uzir cited that these trends had been forecasted by the government in its economic blueprints and transformation plans.

He also said that the department is developing a business demographic indicator to gauge the birth and death of companies in the country in real time.

Uzir said the business demographic could be used as an indicator of the Malaysia’s economic growth.

“We hope to see the first draft of the proposal to be ready by next year and we will be incorporating it into the next census in the next five years.We have now captured over 920,000 active establishments and we will continue updating the number.

However this data is not real time and does not reflect the total number of companies there is in Malaysia,” he added.

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