PETALING JAYA: Malaysia aims to strengthen cooperation in small and medium enterprises (SME) development with 17 Arab countries.

To kickstart the collaboration, SME Corp Malaysia seeks to establish a memorandum of understanding with two of its counterparts, namely the SMEs Development Agency of Oman and the Small Enterprise Development Fund of Yemen to strengthen bilateral relations related to the development of SME.

Through this formalisation of cooperation, SME from the countries involved will benefit from the exchange of information and SME promotion activities which will be lined up in the future.

SME Corp Malaysia CEO Rizal Nainy pointed out that international buyers from the Middle East as well as other parts of the world can source products and services of Malaysian SME through its MatchME platform.

Introduced in June 2021, the platform connects SME with anchor companies such as multinational companies, government linked companies, supermarkets and large companies locally and internationally. So far the platform has matched a total of 740 MSME as well as 93 MNC and large companies generating RM38 million in potential sales.

The platform is part of the SME Corp’s MyAssist MSME initiative which provides an online channel for MSME to seek business advisory and information, guidance and digital marketing opportunities.

The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives hosted a networking session with diplomatic representatives from 17 Arab countries to foster integration of Malaysian SME into the global value chain. The inaugural networking session saw the participation of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, UAE and Yemen.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar extolled the important role of entrepreneurs and SME as the lifeblood of economies around the world.

“Acknowledging the importance of SMEs in our economies, we should continue to foster, strengthen, and deepen bilateral economic, trade and investment linkages, with SMEs taking the centre stage,” he said in a statement today.