SME Business Pavilion: Welcoming Remarks by Welcoming Remarks the Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman, WIEF Foundation


Nov  4th


The Hon. Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia

The Hon. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed,
Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia,

Distinguished guests
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen

Assalamualaikum and a very good morning.

On behalf of the WIEF foundation, it gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to the WIEF’s inaugural session of the SME business pavilion this morning.

I wish to thank The Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, for giving us the honour by consenting to attend and to officially declare open the business pavilion.

Our sincere gratitude also goes to the SME corporation under MITI and in particular, Minister Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, for the excellent support and cooperation extended to the WIEF in planning and organising this SME Business Pavilion.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The topic of SMEs has always been close to our hearts at the WIEF in designing the programme of the forum as well as those special programs held in between our annual forum. The element of SMEs has always been embedded in almost all of the sessions of our previous forums with a view to giving special focus and importance to the role of SMEs in building bridges through business.

We strongly believe that giving priority to the development of SMEs is the right thing to do in line with the strong commitment demonstrated by governments towards building a strong base of vibrant and competitive SMEs in the region.

This is especially so for ASEAN as it prepares itself to see the realisation of the ASEAN economic community this month. This, in the midst of the changing business environment at the national, regional and global level.

Indeed, ASEAN’s economic integration means that the potential benefits of SMEs are no longer confined to national borders.

We also believe that, with the right policies and regulations in place, together with the right incentives, funding and support mechanisms, the AEC would provide tremendous opportunities for SMEs to expand and thrive beyond their existing market. These would also serve to directly benefit from a market place of more than 630 million people.

In terms of economic transformation, the development of SMEs could very well emerge as one of the most promising growth centres in the region.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It was with all these as a backdrop that we have decided to take this major step to give special priority to SMEs by organising a dedicated session which we call an SME business pavilion at this 11th WIEF in Kuala Lumpur.

Special efforts have been made to assemble experts from around the world to share best practices and industry insights on 5 critical issues. These are SME regional ecosystem, funding, e-commerce, internationalisation and localisation considered relevant to the current needs of SMEs.

More specifically perhaps, discussions could also cover matters pertaining to innovation and diversification in products and services, adoption of new technology and new marketing strategy, integration into the global supply chain and the need to shift away from domestically focused model to one that is regionally and globally competitive in order to enable SMEs to stay ahead and grow sustainably.

The WIEF strongly believes that regional and global cooperation is indispensable for the success of SMEs. We also believe in walking the talk, and we see the holding of this type of event at the forum as the best way of contributing and complementing to what we have been doing through separate programmes for the benefit of women and youth entrepreneurs. These could be held in between our annual forum, as well as those undertaken by others to promote the development of SMEs.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In conclusion, let me assure all present that the WIEF would continue to give priority to the development of SMEs. We hope to continue to organise similar sessions such as this SME business pavilion as a permanent feature of our forum in the years ahead in close consultations with the relevant agencies concerned.

With that, I wish all participants every success in your deliberations.

Thank you.