Economy and Investment

ASEAN Showcases Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

by Duangkamol Buranasomphop


In conjunction with Malaysia’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp. Malaysia) hosts the landmark event of 2015 - the ASEAN SME Showcase and Conference (ASSC). Officiated by the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Haji Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the event will run from 26 to 28 May at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

“Recognising the importance of SMEs, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint has a dedicated strategic approach on Equitable Economic Development of SMEs. This document is complemented by the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development (SAP SMED), with the current plan focusing from 2010 to 2015,” said DPM Muhyiddin Yassin. “Moving forward, for 2016 - 2025, new strategic goals are being planned. These goals will focus more on innovation, technology and productivity. They will promote the development of entrepreneurs and SMEs that will provide higher value in the global supply chain,” he added.


Themed “One Business, One Community,” over 100 ASEAN SMEs and 200 Malaysian SMEs participated in ASSC 2015. The event provided a forum for exchange of trade information, establishing synergies and more than 450 business matching meetings that have been pre-arranged.

The three-day event includes the ASEAN SME Showcase, ASEAN SME Conference and ASEAN Business XchanGE Platform. It is expected to draw more than 10,000 trade visitors. The Showcase comprises of 60% local and 40% regional as well as international exhibitors. These individual components are designed to provide real opportunities for SMEs to showcase their best products and services, forge strategic business partnerships and initiate dialogue for ASEAN development solutions.

ASEAN is currently one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing regions in the world. It is a known fact that with a sizeable population of 633 million, ASEAN offers a significant consumer market base with distinct needs and increasing purchasing power. ASSC 2015 is a gateway to tap the potential of ASEAN as a single market, with organic growth opportunities, especially for the SME Community,” said YB Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia.

In recognition of SMEs as the backbone of ASEAN economies, ASSC 2015 sets the foundation for regional cooperation, especially to help prepare the SMEs for the AEC, by way of regionalising SMEs in ASEAN for global reach.

“In promoting ASSC 2015, I met various state Ministers and high-influence positions from ASEAN and if I were to highlight one common aspect – it would be their high-appetite for risks, growth, and development. ASSC 2015 was a much needed regional platform for them to demonstrate their capacity, capability and competitiveness for tapping the big ASEAN market potential. I am confident, beyond any doubt, that after three days from now, ASSC 2015 will generate tangible outcomes for every participating organisation, government institution, businesses and entrepreneurs,” concluded YBhg. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim, Chief Executive Officer, SME Corp. Malaysia.

ASSC 2015 witnessed the official launching of ASEAN Market Place, a portal designed specifically for ASEAN SMEs. The portal features a robust directory of ASEAN SMEs to catalyze strategic partnerships and foster business relationships within the ASEAN SME community.

SME Corp. Malaysia shared that the event will create vast investment opportunities across three days through face-to-face Business Matching Sessions, establishing linkages between SMEs in Malaysia and ASEAN Member States.

According to the projections, the potential sales value targeted at ASSC 2015 will be to the tune of RM400 million as a result of the negotiations in priority sectors such as aerospace; automotive & rail; oil & gas; retail (hypermarkets); healthcare; electrical & engineering etc. Some of the anchor companies in attendance include BAE Systems, Tesco, Bosch, Sime Darby, Procter & Gamble, and e-Bay amongst others.


Duangkamol Buranasomphop

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