KUCHING: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can look forward to a promising future.
This is because the state government has plans to help develop and promote the industry to generate value-added products.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government can do this through innovation and by utilising modern technology.
“We want our industry players to be competitive in the global market, for this we are looking at getting them to generate value-added products, and that means we need to innovate and go hi-tech,” he said when officiating at the fourth Sarawak Timber SMEs Expo and the first Sarawak Design Conference and Expo at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.
The chief minister noted that SMEs in Malaysia in general, and Sarawak in particular, should expand into the digital economy space to grow their businesses.
He said this is an important step to reach vast markets outside Sarawak to secure growth and maintain competitive advantages.
“There is a need for continuous and comprehensive efforts for SME products to compete and penetrate a wider market.
“Towards this end, the state government will ensure the state SMEs will be creative and innovative by leveraging advanced technology in automation and robotics, big data, adoption of Industry 4.0 and digital marketing. SMEs cannot continue to rely on low-cost tech and labour intensive strategy for growth,” he said.
Abang Johari also witnessed the signing of three memoranda of understanding (MoU). The first was between the timber companies and their trading partners — Sanyan Wood Industries Sdn Bhd, Bright Wood Sdn Bhd and Marubeni Corporation, Samling Group, Shin Yang Group of Companies and Japan Kenzai Co Ltd as well as WTK Group and Sumitomo Forestry Co Ltd.
The second MoU was between Sarawak Planted Forest Sdn Bhd and Biomass Fuel Bintulu Malaysia Sdn Bhd, while the third MoU was signed between Giovanni Wood Industries Sdn Bhd and Koperkasa as furniture vendor. The Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Ministry (MIED) Sarawak also presented prizes to winners in Pusaka-Unimas Furniture Design Competition 2018.
A memento was presented by Deputy Chief Minister cum Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) board chairman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan to Abang Johari.
Also present at the event were Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Assistant Minister Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais; Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh; Sabah Trade and Industries Assistant Minister Azhar Matussin, Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak’s permanent secretary Datuk Liaw Soon Eng and STIDC general manager Hashim Bojet.