Highlights:

  1. No more discrimination of those with HIV/AIDS in employment
  2. MTC exhibitors record RM34.66 mln in sales at Furniture China 2018
  3. Germany to be the newest addition to the Global Innovation Alliance network

No more discrimination of those with HIV/AIDS in employment

The Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) is currently working with the Ministry of Human Resources on a policy to ensure that people with HIV/AIDS, including those receiving treatment, are not discriminated when it comes to employment. MAC president Bakhtiar Talhah said this is important because most of those affected were from the 18 to 40 age group and they needed a job like others in their age group. “So, as long as they getting proper treatment for HIV/AIDS which is also free in Malaysia, they are healthy enough to be hired, ” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. “We are now focussing on the policy at the work place. Actually, we already have a guideline at work place for people with HIV and now we are trying to turn it into law, the earliest by next year”. He said the epidemic scene in Malaysia had improved with the 2017 HIV notification rate dropping by 60 per cent with the highest ratio of 28.4 in every 100,000 persons seen in 2002 coming down to 10.3 last year.

MTC exhibitors record RM34.66 mln in sales at Furniture China 2018

Exhibitors under the Malaysian Timber Council’s  (MTC) Malaysian Pavilion recorded both confirmed and potential sales of RM34.66 million at the 24th China International Furniture Expo 2018 (Furniture China 2018) held from Sept 11 to 14.  MTC chief executive officer, Richard Yu in a statement said, “Malaysian furniture exhibitors, which showcased their products in MTC’s Malaysian Pavilion at Furniture China, piqued the interest of many at the trade fair. “There was a 13.3 per cent increase in the number of enquiries at our pavilion this year compared to last year. We see this as a sign that we are on the right track in reading the market sentiments and the needs of potential and existing clients.”  The 19 manufacturers, which exhibited their products at Furniture China 2018 held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Pudong, comprised repeat as well as first-time exhibitors.  Yu said the exhibition attracted more visitors to the stands of Malaysian furniture manufacturers. A wide range of furniture was exhibited, from solid wood furniture to those made of particleboard which cater to all segments of the market. “MTC encourages furniture-based SMEs to participate in fairs as it provides a platform for them to showcase their products to the many potential buyers who throng these fairs.  “Malaysian furniture producers are well capable of manufacturing top-of-the-range furniture and are highly competitive at the international level as well,” he added. China will remain an enticing export destination for Malaysia as it is the eighth largest importer of wooden furniture products. In 2017, Malaysia’s furniture exports to China increased by 64.8 per cent from RM121.7 million to RM200.7 million. In the first half of 2018, the figure reached RM109.6 million, an increase of 37.8 per cent over the corresponding period in 2017.

Germany to be the newest addition to the Global Innovation Alliance network

Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and German Accelerator Southeast Asia (GASEA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost startup collaboration between Singapore and Germany, supporting Singapore based startups in their expansion to Germany and Europe. With this, Germany is now the newest addition to the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA) network for Singapore. GASEA will partner Enterprise Singapore and EDB to organise a two-year programme named “Scalerator” to support more than 40 Singapore-based startups in entering Germany, and access the local and wider European markets. The “Scalerator” programme, specifically curated for Singapore-based startups, will commence in Q1 2019. The first phase of each run will be held in Singapore and covers market familiarity, preliminary tech evaluation and product-market fit assessments. It includes an optional market immersion trip to Germany at the end of phase one. Once deemed ready for the German market, the startup will proceed to the second phase. Startups will have the chance to plug themselves into the German ecosystem, gain first-hand experience of the market, build connections with local mentors and suitable German Mittelstand, as well as understand local employment and regulatory guidelines.