MITI Deputy Minister Dato’ Lee Chee Leong called on Malaysian SMEs to adopt an “ASEAN strategy” to realise growth.
Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should adopt an “ASEAN strategy” to realise growth as the country is ideally placed as the “gateway” for the ASEAN market comprising 625 million people with a steadily growing middle class, said Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Dato’ Lee Chee Leong.
“Having such regional or international perspectives may prove to be a game-changer for SMEs, paving a path towards sustain growth, increased job creation and higher innovation capacity,” said Dato’ Lee.
“The next frontier for local SMEs is to emerge as regional players that are not constrained by the domestic consumer base. SMEs possess the potential to participate in global production networks by riding on ASEAN’s intrinsic strengths and prospects, multiple SME-focuses policy initiatives as well as the continued wave of regional financial integration.
“This will allow for the transition for SMEs to benefit immensely from the ongoing regional economic and financial integration, and thus contribute towards a balanced and sustainable growth of our region,” he added.
The MITI Deputy Minister was speaking at the award ceremony of Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards held in Kuala Lumpur last week.
Meanwhile, former Human Resources Minister Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn (pic) said that, “despite the natural disasters, political upheavals and unrest Asia has seen over the centuries, the region continues to grow and is today one of the fastest expanding geographic zones in the world.”
“In fact, four out of the five fastest growing cities in the world is in Asia. Today, the number of Asian and Malaysian Businesses that have become global names have grown exponentially,” said Tan Sri Dr Fong who is now Chairman of Enterprise Asia, a non-governmental organisation in pursuit of entrepreneurship development across the region.
“Torchbearers of entrepreneurship”
At the event, some thirty-three entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout Malaysia were recognised with the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) for being “torchbearers of entrepreneurship, while adhering to a strict standard of personal and business ethics”.
Amongst them were Executive Chairman of Silverlake Axis Limited Goh Peng Ooi who received the Entrepreneur of the Year award, TSH Resources Chairman Datuk Dr Kelvin Tan who received the Special Achievement award, Group Deputy Managing Director of Ireka Corporation Berhad Monica Lai Voon Huey who received the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award and Group CEO of the Aspen Group Dato’ Murly Manokharan who was recognised with the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
“We can say with certainty that the recipients of the APEA are like none others. Not only do they have to prove their entrepreneurial skills and experience in one of the toughest contests in the world, they also subject themselves to a pledge to uphold the highest standards of entrepreneurship, which includes allegiance to the two founding pillars of Enterprise Asia, namely ‘Investment in People’ and ‘Responsible Leadership’,” said Dato’ William Ng, President of Enterprise Asia.
This is the ninth year in which Enterprise Asia was hosting the APEA.
Promising business leaders were also recognised at the event. They included Chairman and Founder of WY Consultancy & Development Dr Yeoh Seong Mok (pic) who is renowned as being one of Malaysia’s leading Project Management experts.