According to quondam Minister of International Trade and Industry Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to be business savvy and smart in reaching out to new markets to remain relevant and competitive.

Rafidah said SMEs also need to take lead and be market drivers, not merely followers of trends, citing an example of Myanmar which is opening up its markets. She said SMEs should rush to grab the opportunities available there.

She spoke during her speech at the Bicara Perdana programme organised by SME Corp and the Traders and Entrepreneurs Association Malaysia (Perdasama).

Rafidah said SMEs which understand the workings of the market and its users and which are conscious of the local, regional and global environment profiles will quickly adapt.

“The government has opened up markets and is providing various initiatives. SMEs need to play their part in following up. If the market expands, business will grow,” added Rafidah.

The Bicara Perdana programme saw a turn-up of over 150 Bumiputera SMEs from various industries. The programme was aimed at enabling participants to receive insights and strategies on being successful in the business world.

The programme which was themed “Innovation & Transformation of SMEs in Facing Global Challenges” also saw the launch of P-Shoppe, a portal created to serve as a channel for promoting and advertising business products of Perdasama members.