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SME Corp to venture into ‘hidden gems’ industry

16 Feb 2020 / 22:01 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: SME Corp will venture into “hidden gems” industry involving agarwood, orchid and others, in a bid to spur further growth among the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), its CEO Noor Azmi Mat Said (pix).

The agency, according to him, would develop technologies derived from “hidden gems” industry and market it globally.

SME Corp and relevant agencies he said are ready to increase the industry’s productivity via the adoption of cutting-edge technology and innovations.

“This ‘hidden gem’ industry is our target as the 11th Malaysia Plan comes to an end this year. We intend to ensure the industry has a place in the SMEs and (the SME Corp) is ready to bring technologies derived from it to the global market place,” Noor Azmi told Bernama.

He said the development of agarwood processing technology is to make resin/oil derived from the non-timber forest product as the main ingredient in the production of fragrance products.

The oil/resin derived from agarwood is highly sought after by traders with its price could fetch RM12,000 per kg.

“We will gather the relevant technology to make agarwood (oil/resin) market-ready and to become one of the manufacturers of fragrance products,” he said.

SME Corp is also ready to encourage the country’s SMEs to develop more efficient battery technology, a key component in the modern era of digitalisation including mobile devices and environmental-friendly electric cars.

“The capacity for battery, the main component which powers the digital era, needs to be more efficient,” Noor Azmi said, adding that Malaysia has the potential to become the leader in battery technology.

China is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles (EVs) and is the leader in lithium-ion battery technology that powers EVs, smartphones and other mobile devices.

Commenting on SMEs’ preparedness for the transition to the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), Noor Azmi said SME Corp is prepared to be the catalyst to ensure they have a deep understanding of digitalisation and the digital economy.

Cyber-security he said, is SME Corp’s main focus especially in navigating Malaysia’s SMEs towards the IR4.0 era.

“And when the industry is ready, they need to look into issues related to cyber-security to ensure their business data is equipped with the latest security measures to prevent unwanted failures,” he said.

Therefore, SME Corp will organise a risk management program for SMEs to provide them with the latest knowledge on the cyber, legal and occupational safety management.

“The agency has also begun discussions with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health to disseminate job security information especially for SMEs involved in the manufacturing,” added Noor Azmi.

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