German firms in Malaysia burdened by vague SOPs

A YEAR after the Covid-19 pandemic began ravaging the nation’s socioeconomic growth, inconsistent standard operating procedures (SOPs) and delays in visa processing and approval make it tough for German-based firms to remain in the country.

(The Malaysian Reserve) – Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCC) CEO Daniel Bernbeck (picture) said these uncertain directions are difficult for the German business community in Malaysia, where 90% have seen their businesses adversely affected by the pandemic.

“On one hand, we are grateful that early on, the Malaysian government was very swift in imposing the lockdown which helped curb the pandemic and protect our health compared to Germany, where they are currently having it worse.

“But at the same time, once the economy was allowed to resume, there seem to be a lot of miscommunications and lack of clarity on the rules.

“Firstly, (is) on what is defined as essential services, and then how do we allow the whole supply chain, some are essential, some may be not, to remain operational. Those were the initial problems at the beginning of the pandemic,” Bernbeck told The Malaysian Reserve.

Although some of the issues have been communicated between Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) and the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI), some issues such as multiple layers of approvals with differing government agencies and the Immigration Department continue to plague these firms.

“We have raised these (issues) to MITI and Matrade, who thankfully have been hands-on, but still, there are no concrete answers on these matters,” Bernbeck said.

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