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News & Events

[ 03-03-2014 ]
Muhyiddin: SME entrepreneurs in Malaysia and Cambodia should work closer to expand trade value

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says the business community of both Malaysia and Cambodia should further strengthen trade cooperation in order to strike a ‘win-win’ partnership. — Picture by Choo Choy May Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says the business community of both Malaysia and Cambodia should further strengthen trade cooperation in order to strike a ‘win-win’ partnership. — Picture by Choo Choy MayPHNOM PENH, Feb 21 — Small and medium enterprises entrepreneurs in Malaysia and Cambodia are encouraged to work closer to expand trade value and volume.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recommended that both countries make strategic use of the Malaysia-Cambodia Business Council to not only focus on increasing their exports but also participate in services supply.

The council should also encourage the two friendly nations to enhance industrial collaborations with a view to tap opportunities available in the liberalised Asean services sector, he said when speaking at a roundtable meeting with industry captains here today.

The deputy prime minister said the business community of both countries should further strengthen trade cooperation in order to strike a “win-win” partnership.

“As the backbone of our economies, I am convinced that by enhancing engagements, both countries can create a strong SME business class that will be able to penetrate the international market through the development of a strategic link in the global value chain.

“In this regard, I hope the programmes and blueprint set by the council will further enhance trade cooperation betwen Malaysia and Cambodia,” he said.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia’s investments in Cambodia totalled US$2.62 billion between 1994 and 2013, while 1,693 Malaysian businesses, mainly in the finance and services sectors are registered in this country.

Last year, Malaysia’s bilateral trade with Cambodia increased by 13.8 per cent to reach US$429.54 million as compared with the previous year.

He said like Malaysia, Cambodia also has a small domestic market and has to depend on external trade and foreign direct investments for economic growth.

The openness of Malaysian companies has made an attractive location for Malaysian firms to invest and provide optimism to investors to explore business opportunities in Cambodia, he added.

“It means our businesses should explore opportunities in investment initiatives promoted by the government of Cambodia in areas such as agriculture and agro industries, transport, telecommunications, infrastructure, energy and electricity sectors, labour-intensive industries and export-oriented processing and manufacturing and services-related industries like hotels and restaurants,” he said.

Muhyiddin also highlighted the importance of both countries to look at further facilitating the movement of skilled persons in the region.

He stressed that only through such facilitative effort can investors be able to address in the short-term the issue of shortage of skilled workforce.

“On that note, we need to continue using existing bilateral mechanism to identify areas for collaborations and outline action plans to implement the collaboratives, while Malaysia, as the Chair of the Asean Summit next year, also looks towards Cambodia’s support in pushing for the realisation of the Asean Economic Community by the end of next year,” he added. ― Bernama