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May 27, 2017

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Malaysia ranks 8th in 'service sophistication'

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia -- Malaysia's overall level of service sophistication ranked eighth out of 18 countries in the newly introduced Service Development Index (SDI).

The SDI results were released as part of the Second Global Market Expansion Services Report findings jointly published by DKSH and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

The report reflects the latest findings of over 350 survey responses and from more than 25 interviews with industry executives and thought leaders.

"The SDI is measured according to the level of sophistication of the countries in terms of market expansion services (MES) covering sales, distribution and logistics as well as market insight services, such as market data and intelligence, market entry studies and brand analyses," said DKSH group finance director John Clare in a statement.

The report findings acknowledged that while China, Thailand, India, Indonesia and Vietnam are today's advancing markets and growth leaders, the SDI has placed Malaysia ahead of them in service sophistication.

"That's because these countries continue to face challenges from the uneven development between their cities where there are often highly sophisticated offerings, as compared to their rural areas which are still lagging behind," said Clare, who is also head of country management for DKSH Malaysia.

Countries such as Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are seen as starters in their journey towards sophisticated service offerings.

Malaysia trails behind New Zealand (7), Australia (6), South Korea (5), Hong Kong (4), Taiwan (3), Singapore (2) and Japan (1).

DKSH said Malaysia and New Zealand were considered to be "chasers" as they showed strong levels of development in services sectors in recent years, and were seen to be closely "chasing" Asia's leading countries.

Japan leads the pack as, historically, the country is well-reputed and strongly committed to service and customer orientation, and demanding the highest quality of services.

Clare cautioned that the overall scenario is, however, changing by the minute.

"Based on their histories and particular economic development stories, many of the up-and-coming emerging countries might soon match developed nations in the sophistication of their service offerings.

"For instance, India, often seen as the call centre capital, is making major gains that will soon put it on par with other Asian heavyweights." he said.

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