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Miti Wants To See More SME-produced Products Going Offshore

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Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin giving a speech at the launch of "Jom Niaga" small-and-medium entrepreneurs gatherings at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Merbok.Pic: K.GanesonBy Kamarul Ariffin Md Yassin
SUNGAI PETANI, June 21 (Bernama) -- The International Trade and Industry Ministry will help more small-and-medium entrepreneurs(SMEs) penetrate overseas markets for their export quality products.
Its Deputy Minister Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir said it was not unusual to see such products being exported as they have begun to have a strong following overseas.
He said products manufactured by SMEs have not only penetrated Asean markets but they were also available on the shelves of supermarkets in China and West Asia.
"We definitely encourage them to venture overseas to market their products. Under the ministry, we have Matrade (the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation) which is there to help them find export markets," he told Bernama.
Mukhriz said SMEs have created ample employment opportunities to locals but the sector's contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was still not encouraging.
"Their contribution to the GDP is only 32 per cent. Our target is to raise that figure to 42 per cent by 2020," he added.
The deputy minister also said SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp), has todate, organised seven micro, small-and-medium entrepreneurs gatherings aimed at creating opportunities for enterprising and budding SMEs to meet face-to-face with related government agencies.
"Three such events were large scale gatherings held in Bachok on April 23, Shah Alam (May 10) and Merbok (June 19 and June 20).
"Four small-scale gatherings were held in Ayer Keroh on May 17, Tawau (May 21 and 22), Miri (May 26 and 27) and Bandar Tun Abdul Razak, Jengka, Pahang, on May 28," he said.
Mukhriz said the gatherings served as a one-stop centre for both entrepreneurs and government agencies to meet and discuss promotion and marketing of SME products.
"Although the agencies frequently organised promotions they were inadequate. As such, organising a large gathering has proved to be successful as many related agencies under this ministry and others converged to offer various packages and this was well received by the SMEs.
"Those who came were not necessarily successful entrepreneurs but aspiring to venture into the field of entrepreneurship and were 'checking out the scene' and looking for opportunities.
"The gathering in Merbok had many attractions like 'pocket talk and chat time' with successful entrepreneurs," he added.
Mukhriz said the ministry received requests from other states to hold similar gatherings there and it was being considered given the encouraging response to the seven other SME gatherings.
"If we unable to do the event on a grand scale like in Merbok, a small gathering will also do. In Merbok, we had 325 booths showing various products and almost 30,000 patrons, to the two-day event, contributed to on-the-spot sales of RM750,000," he said.
In Bachok, there were 200 booths which was patronised by about 15,000 visitors and sales amounted to RM300,000 while in Shah Alam 20,000 people visited the booths of 348 entreprenuers who clinched RM900,000 in sales.
In Miri, 140 booths were put up and attracted 10,000 visitors and sales were estimated at RM100,000.
Mukhriz also said only seminars were held in Ayer Keroh and Tawau while a workshop was conducted for 300 companies at the Jengka gathering.

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