SMALL and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia could get more American private-sector support for a national “Industry 4.0” drive.
The US-Asean Business Council and Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry have joined forces to organise a workshop on Industry 4.0’s potential for Malaysian SMEs, according to a press statement issued early on Wednesday (April 3).
Some 250 SME owners and senior executives from the Kuala Lumpur region are expected to attend the event in the second quarter of 2019, which will feature sessions on topics such as digital transformation, global value chains, regional e-commerce market and digital payments.
Trade associations and representatives from United States and Malaysia government agencies are also slated to take part in the workshop, which will be held under a training scheme for SMEs that was set up by the US-Asean Business Council Institute in 2011.
More than 40 such workshops have taken place across South-east Asia since then.
Marc Mealy, senior vice-president of policy at the US-Asean Business Council, noted in the statement that SMEs make up more than 96 percent of businesses in the region and employ more than half of all workers in South-east Asia.
“SMEs are the backbone of every national economy and enhancing their capabilities to engage in cross border trading activities is a critical part of Asean’s current trade policy dynamism and a fundamental element to the formation of the Asean Economic Community,” he said.
The latest workshop was first announced at an April 1 roundtable with Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Darrel Ignatius Leiking, the US-Asean Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.