Akhbar Atas Talian No 1 Borneo

Malaysia to host ASEAN MSME Centre of Excellence for Green Transition – Ewon

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will host the ASEAN   Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)  Centre of Excellence for Green Transition  expected to be held next year.

This event to coincide with Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship will focus on the crucial role of sustainability practices among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Corporative Datuk Ewon Benedick said the idea was mooted during the 17th ASEAN Coordinating Committee on MSMEs held in Jakarta in May 2024 and duly approved for implementation.

He said this during the launch of ASEAN Hong Kong China  (AHKC) SMEs Going ESG Policy Dialogue and Workshop 2024: Empowering SME Sustainability here today.

The event was organised by  ASEAN – Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement Economic and Technical Cooperation (AHKCFTA ECOTECH) Work Programme.

Ewon stressed that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) must prioritise their sustainability agenda as the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) revolution is well underway and has significantly reshaped the business landscape.

Embracing  ESG principles can help turn uncertainties into opportunities, complexities into clarity, and problems into potential for SMEs.

Ewon said,  aligned with these trends, the Malaysian government, through SME Corp. Malaysia, has identified two key focus areas to propel SMEs into the global value chain.

The first area entails boosting SMEs’ involvement in the value chains of high-impact industries, he said adding that  the second area focuses on facilitating the internationalisation of SMEs, enabling them to transition from local markets to the global stage.

These strategic focus areas aim to support SMEs in navigating the increasingly competitive landscape by embracing new growth paradigms and business strategies that emphasise knowledge and skill acquisition, digitalisation, technology upgrading, and innovation, according to him.

On SMEs in the Malaysian front, he said the government prioritises the development of SMEs, recognising their crucial role in job creation and global economic growth.

With 1.1 million SMEs, including micro-enterprises comprising 97% of business establishments in Malaysia, their collective impact is significant.

In ASEAN, there are approximately 70 million SMEs, accounting for 97.2% to 99.9% of total establishments, contributing 85% to employment, 45% to GDP, and 18% to national exports. SMEs also play a vital role in environmental conservation and economic progress through their combined efforts.

On the ESG, he said “ESG has yet to become a central focus for most SMEs due to their lack of understanding of their organisations’ prospective growth opportunities and benefits.”

He reiterated that having good ESG performance is now an integral part of business risk management.

The importance of ESG compliance for both domestic and international supply chains has shifted the focus of business from traditional profit maximisation to sustainable supply chain management, redesigning processes that reduce waste and eventually gave business costs, he stressed.

He also said that international cooperation and collaboration are essential in realising entrepreneurial aspirations.

According to him it is important to bring together regional stakeholders to share knowledge, engage in discussions, collaborate, and collectively address the significant challenges that  MSMEs encounter in terms of sustainability.

“Today, we are gathered to commemorate the important occasion of 27th June, designated as International MSME Day by the United Nations. I am delighted to mark this day alongside our colleagues from ASEAN, Hong Kong, China, and the Malaysian SME community. ”

“This celebration not only fills us with pride but also serves as a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable contributions of MSMEs to the global economy.”

Also present during the event were Dato’ Ramanan Ramakrishnan MEDC

Deputy Minister,  Dato’ Sri Suriani Binti Dato’ Ahmad

Secretary General of MEDC, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Bernard Giluk Dompok Chairman of SME Corporation Malaysia and Rizal Nainy Chief Executive Officer of SME Corporation Malaysia.

 

 

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