“Both Asean and India are looking forward to accelerate the pace of development of their respective economies.
“The conference will focus on how entrepreneurs from both sides can collaborate to take advantage of the business opportunities that will be unfolding in this part of the world,” he said in his keynote address before also launching SMIDEX 2012, an annual showcase of SME innovations.
He also opened the inaugural SME week 2012, which will take place during the final week of June every year at various locations nationwide.
There are currently 77 Indian companies operating in Malaysia, including 70 joint ventures.
“Since its beginnings about a decade ago, business relations between Asean and India have seen tremendous growth,” he said, adding that Malaysia was currently the 27th largest foreign investor in India.
Najib said the Government’s challenge was in finding ways to support the growth of small and medium industries in the country.
Besides the provision of training and upskilling services, financial support and credit services as well as business matching services, he said the Government also rewarded innovative SMEs.
“We have found that it is inspiring for businesses when we develop recognition programmes to support SMEs that do well,” he said before presenting the SME Innovation Awards to six selected companies.
The grand prize winner, Penchem Technology Sdn Bhd, received prize money of RM1mil, a trophy and a certificate.
The company, which beat 32 other finalists, was also named winner of the “Best Innovation Award” in the manufacturing sector.
Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vijay Gokhale said trade between the two countries had reached a historic high last year at RM40bil.
“Malaysian SME products are well-received in India such as in the textile and electronics sectors,” he said during a press conference later.
Source: The Star Online