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SME CEO Forum Empowers SMEs to Stay Ahead

March 18 – THE SME CEO Forum returns this year to boost business immunity and empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the knowledge to stay ahead.

SME CEO Forum 2022, themed ‘Supercharging SMEs in 2022 and Beyond’, was held in conjunction with the Small and Medium Enterprises Association’s (Samenta) 35th anniversary.

Organising chairman Calvin Kwan said the SME CEO Forum 2022 would discuss five key strategies that SMEs could undertake to grow and supercharge their businesses in an increasingly competitive market.

“The five key strategies are digitalisation; environment, social and governance (ESG) compliance and investments; tapping into Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); intellectual property (IP) commercialisation; and the journey towards initial public offering (IPO),” he said in his speech.

Kwan, who is also the Samenta northern region chairman, thanked the Penang government for its support.

“The Penang government has always been very supportive of SMEs and the micro-enterprises. Samenta wishes to thank the state for the numerous supports, such as grants and incentives that were provided when SMEs and micro-enterprises were facing their darkest moments during the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

He also advised businesses to adopt digitalisation to conform to the new normal.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the significance of SMEs in the economic landscape of Penang and Malaysia was well established.

“The state government has implemented several programmes and policies such as The SME Village, Smart Centre, Seed Capital Fund, and the Penang Halal Hub which are aimed at benefitting our SMEs.

“Moreover, the new initiatives by Digital Penang, Penang Youth Development Centre, and Penang Women’s Development Corporation are also intended to promote entrepreneurship,” Chow said in his speech before launching the SME CEO Forum 2022 at Setia SPICE Convention Centre today.

Chow added that the Penang government had approved a special financial aid (Bantuan Khas Kewangan) of RM1 million grant in total, based on a proposal by Samenta.

“It was to support 1,000 SMEs with RM1,000 each for their digitalisation journey. I am happy to note that the programme was successfully implemented last year, in collaboration with Digital Penang,” he said.

Chow also said that Penang had garnered RM76.2 billion of total approved manufacturing investments in the year 2021 – a record-breaking figure which represented 39% of the nation’s total.

“Penang’s 2021 record significantly outpaced its past performances by exceeding the cumulative investments obtained from 2012 to 2020, which amounted to RM73.1 billion,” he said.

Chow mentioned the 50th anniversary of the state’s industrialisation, adding that the Penang government had curated a year-long event for the celebration.

“Samenta’s SME CEO Forum 2022 is held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the state’s industrialisation.

“The SME CEO Forum held today is indeed timely as SMEs must navigate through challenges from Covid-19 as well as external pressures. Topics such as ‘Digitalisation’ is pertinent, and we have incorporated Digital Penang to drive this initiative and build the supporting ecosystem.

“In addition, the forum will also discuss ESG compliance and investments, and the RCEP.

“SMEs must be fully aware of ESG implications and embrace these tenets as part of their growth strategy.

“For RCEP, companies especially the export-oriented ones, must tap into this gargantuan Regional Free Trade Area,” he said.

The ceremony at Setia SPICE Convention Centre also saw the launching of the Intellectual Property Commercialisation (MyIPComm2022).

Also present were Penang Entrepreneurial Development, Trade and Industry Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, Samenta national president Kam Lian Hooi, Samenta immediate past president Datuk Koay Chiew Guan, Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai, Business Media International managing director Datuk William Ng, and International IP Commercialisation Council (IIPCC) Malaysia president Patricia Chung.

Source : Buletin Mutiara

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