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Mustapa Urges Sarawak's SMEs To Be Brave And Venture Overseas [ 26-04-2016 ]

KUCHING, April 24 (Bernama) -- International Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed today urged Sarawak's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro businesses to venture overseas and enlarge their markets through cross-border trade.

"In business, you cannot be afraid to venture into new markets. We want companies to have big ambitions, a global mindset and not be afraid to go international," he told the Sarawak business community at the "Hari Bersama Industri" programme here, today.

The programme highlighted the benefits and opportunities arising from the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

It will also shine the light on the work to be undertaken by the regional grouping over the next decade with the implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.

"Sarawak entrepreneurs need to prepare and equip themselves. Miti and its agencies are ready to help them to expand their business beyond borders.

"We will intensify our outreach and engagement programmes to assist companies to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the AEC," he added.

Mustapa said over 1,500 Malaysian companies are now operating in ASEAN, in industries ranging from manufacturing, construction, retail, wholesale and banking to hotel and construction of roads and ports.

He also shared the success stories of Sarawak entrepreneurs such as Mira Cake House, MUSC Food Industries Sdn Bhd, Amalgamated Batteries Manufacturing (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, Demak Motor, Nadinmas Enterprise and Rimbunan Hijau Group.

Besides the AEC, Miti also highlighted the "Lean Transformation Programme", another of the ministry's efforts at enhancing growth in Sarawak trade and investment.

The objective is to help SMEs improve business operations through mapping techniques and practical approaches to identify and eliminate waste, reduce costs, and achieve better economies of scale and higher productivity gains.

Four registered SMEs, namely Iana Corporation Sdn Bhd, Rosfaniaga Services Sdn Bhd, Super Glory Industries Sdn Bhd and Flexxo Trading Sdn Bhd, all received grants of RM27,000 each under this programme for 2016.

Last year, Sarawak's total trade amounted to RM125.76 billion.

Eight per cent of the trade, or RM9.49 billion, was with ASEAN member states.

Exports to the region amounted to RM6.24 billion, an increase of 7.1 per cent from RM5.82 billion in 2014.

Sarawak received a 23 per cent increase in investments from RM9.6 billion in 2014 to RM11.82 billion in 2015.