• New SMEs among 171 participating in China-ASEAN Expo
  • Manufacturing Sector’s Sales Up 22% In July
  • BioNexus-status Firms to Play More Prominent Role
  • Malaysian Women Entrepreneurs Make Strong Business Pitch In New York
  • ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area Increases Bilateral Trade By 92 percent
  • MTC Targets RM44m Sales for Furniture China

Malaysian SMEs To Showcase Products, Services At 14th CAEXPO
Some 171 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Malaysia will showcase their products and services at the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), which will kick off tomorrow, said Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). CAEXPO is co-sponsored by China and the 10 ASEAN countries aimed at promoting cooperation and common development of China and ASEAN. MATRADE Director of China Unit Ong Yew Chee said 60 per cent of the participating companies comprised new companies, given the burgeoning demand and strong purchasing power of Chinese consumers last year. He said the companies were mainly from the food and beverage, lifestyle, healthcare and services sectors. “The Malaysian pavilion recorded a tremendous performance at CAEXPO 2016, with sales growth of RM329.6 million versus RM214.61 million generated in the previous year,” Ong told a press conference, adding that MATRADE was projecting sales of RM350 million at this year’s outing.

Manufacturing Sector’s Sales Up 22.2% In July
Malaysia’s manufacturing sales in July 2017 posted a strong growth of 22.2 per cent year-on-year to RM63.9 billion against RM52.3 billion previously. The Department of Statistics Malaysia said the significant increase in sales value was due to the increase in electrical and electronics products (27.6 per cent), petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (24 per cent) and non-metallic mineral, basic metal and fabricated metal products (10.2 per cent). “The three sub-sectors contributed 80.4 per cent to the sales value of the manufacturing sector,” the DoS said. Over 1.05 million employees were engaged in the sector in July this year, an increase of 2.9 per cent, or 29,770 persons, from 1.02 million recorded in July 2016. Salaries and wages paid rose by 11.3 per cent or RM356.4 million, bringing the total to RM3.519 billion, thus registering an average salary and wage of RM3,337 per employee for the month.

BioNexus-status Firms to Play More Prominent Role
The Malaysian BioNexus-status companies are expected to play a more prominent role as they undertake more aggressive commercialisation activities, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Datuk Seri Madius Tangau. He said Malaysia now has a network of 286 BioNexus companies and moving forward, the country needed to sustain the momentum for more aggressive commercialisation activities from them. “The strategy will focus on strengthening partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as to provide advisory and business support in the areas of funding, commercialisation, entrepreneurship, regulatory and human capital for the continual development of bio-based businesses,” he said at the opening BioMalaysia and Asia-Pacific Bioeconomy 2017 (BioMalaysia 2017) Conference and Exhibition. Datuk Seri Tangau said Malaysia was well-primed to excel in the bio-based sector by focusing on the core elements such as high-impact, high-growth and high-technology sectors that were capable of driving the development of home-grown technologies to generate new economic opportunities and create a broad spectrum of novel industry sectors in the country.

Malaysian Women Entrepreneurs Make Strong Business Pitch In New York
A group of female entrepreneurs from Malaysia, currently visiting New York to find contacts with local business people to export their products, are making a strong pitch in local circles to do business with Malaysia. The women entrepreneurs’ visit, called ‘Malaysia Fashion and Business Mission to New York’, is organised under the auspices of the Kuala Lumpur based Malay business entrepreneurs association, better known by its acronym Peniagawati. The group, comprising 40 representatives of 25 companies, held a mini exhibition showcasing their products and services at the premises of the Malaysian permanent mission to the United Nations with the support of the New York office of the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). In an interview with Bernama, Peniagawati President Datuk Azlin Ahmad Shaharbi explained that her association was trying to promote the business interests of the companies that were included in the mission. “Our group members represent a variety of businesses, including food and beverages, lifestyle, services such as travel and legal, cosmetics, fashion and others.

ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Area Increases Bilateral Trade By 92.3%
Bilateral trade between ASEAN and South Korea has increased by 92.3 per cent to US$118.84 billion in 2016 from US$61.81 billion in 2006 since the ASEAN-KOREA Free Trade Area (AKFTA) took effect in 2007. Economic ministers from ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (ROK) met last week in the Philippines, for the 14th AEM-ROK Consultations, co-chaired by Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Philippines and Kim Hyun-chong, Minister for Trade of the Republic of Korea. The ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen economic cooperation towards shared prosperity and inclusive growth, the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said in a statement. Foreign Direct Investments flows from Korea to ASEAN stood at an annual average of US$6 billion in the past 10 years (from 2007 to 2016), a 5.4 times increase compared with the past 10 years before AKFTA took effect (from 1997 to 2006). With these developments, ASEAN took its position as Korea´s second largest trading partner and Korea´s second largest investment destination.

RM44m Sales Target Set for Furniture China
The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) is targeting RM44 million in sales at the China International Furniture Expo (Furniture China), based on the sales success of its industry partners in the last two years. This year, the exhibition will be held from September 12-15 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) in Pudong, Shanghai, China. Last year, exhibitors recorded both confirmed and potential sales of RM40.03 million, and this is the third year that MTC is organising a group participation to Furniture China – one of the world´s leading business to business (B2B) trade fairs organised by the China National Furniture Association and Shanghai UBM Sinoexpo International Exhibition Co Ltd. In 2016, exports of Malaysia’s timber and timber-based products to China rose 3.7 per cent to RM846.8 million. Furniture remains the main export of Malaysian timber products to China in value terms, amounting to RM121.7 million which marked a 91 per cent increase from the previous year.

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