KUALA LUMPUR: Asean small and medium enterprises (SMEs) must build their own resilience to survive in today’s highly globalised, interconnected business and economic landscape, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
The deputy prime minister said that in moving towards greater resilience, the SMEs should take the internationalisation path that would open more opportunities for resources, investment, innovation and diversification.
“Research suggests that SMEs with greater internationalisation tend to report higher turnover growth and demonstrate higher employment growth,” he said when opening the Business Pavilion of the 11th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) here.
Zahid also suggested that SMEs develop a comprehensive global business matchmaking network in order to accelerate the internationalisation process.
He said the network should be able to provide new market information with which potential markets and reliable business partners could be identified.
It should also be able to contribute in the development of technology and innovation as well as financing and human capital, he said.
“Earlier this year in Malaysia, we launched a similar but smaller network called the Asean Market Place.
“It features a robust directory of Asean SMEs to help catalyse strategic partnerships and foster business relationships within the Asean SME community,” he said.
In the quest to boost SME performance in Asean, Zahid noted the importance of reaching out to the wider community in other parts of the world.