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SME trade team to India blazes the trail

[ 11-02-2014 ]
SME trade team to India blazes the trail

BANGALORE: The Malaysian trade and investment mission to India, comprising mainly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), is set to achieve positive outcomes as it is a specialised mission, says SME Corp Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim.

Hafsah, who is upbeat on the mission, said this is the first time that a trade delegation is skewed towards the SMEs.

"We expect better outcomes as it is a specialised trade mission focusing on automotive, mechanical engineering, information communication technology and oil and gas, among others.

"This will generate more business engagements by participating companies and they will be more focused," she told Business Times before the delegation left Kuala Lumpur.

Hafsah said through the pre-arranged networking and business-matching sessions, SMEs can explore new markets for their products and services, as well as meet potential business partners in India.

Likewise, the Indian business community can also find business partners and invest in Malaysia.

"I hope this kind of trade mission will be a template because we don't have a dedicated trade mission for SMEs," she added.

The mission, comprising about 30 SMEs, will be led by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohammed, who arrives here today from Davos, Switzerland, after attending the World Economic Forum.

A tight schedule awaits the minister in the capital city of Karnataka in southwest India and home to many reputable educational and research institutions.

This includes speaking at a plenary session of the Partnership Summit, addressing the Malaysia-India CEO Forum, talks with counterparts from India and the United Arab Emirates, roundtable meeting with India's captains of industry and company visits.

There will also be a signing of a memorandum of agreement between Malaysia's ICT firm Skali Group and mPower Global Inc.

Also in the itinerary is dinner with Malaysian students and the diaspora.

The Partnership Summit, themed "Emerging Global Value Chains: Building Partnerships", will deliberate on the best strategies to help countries overcome obstacles to improve competitiveness and achieve inclusive growth, while the Malaysia-India CEO Forum will cover the promotion of trade and investment as well as explore business opportunities in third countries.

During the forum, some 20 members of the private sector from both countries will focus on areas to improve the business climate, possibilities of business alliances, develop synergies to explore opportunities in third countries, technology transfer and development in new technology, and promote early commercialisation of new and innovative technologies.

Total bilateral trade between Malaysia and India has been on an uptrend - for the first 11 months of last year, it amounted to US$12.34 billion (RM41.1 billion), an increase of 1.4 per cent from the same period in 2012.