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Malaysia, Belgium To Intensify Cooperation In SME Sector

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Malaysia, Belgium To Intensify Cooperation In SME Sector

Post  Admin on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:31 am

(Bernama) -- Malaysia and Belgium plan to strengthen cooperation in the small
and medium enterprise (SME) sector to benefit the economies of both countries.

The decision was made at the bilateral meeting between
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan and
Jean-Claude Marcourt, Vice-President and Minister of Economy, SMEs, Foreign
Trade and New Technologies of the Wallon Government and Vice President and
Minister of Higher Education of the French Community.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI),
in a statement today, said both countries would set up networking opportunities
for Malaysian and Belgium SMEs to facilitate collaboration and exchange of
information such as in micro financing and use of alternative energy sources.

"Malaysia and Belgium will also share experience and
improve understanding of one another's policies and operations through visits
and discussions by government officials and professionals from both
countries," it said.

MITI said both countries would find ways to improve
capacity building in the areas of human resource and skills development.

In Malaysia currently, SMEs account for about 99 per cent
of total business establishments and contribute to 31 per cent gross domestic
product, 56 per cent share of employment and 19 per cent share of exports, it

Meanwhile, Dungau said Malaysia's trade with Belgium
remained relatively small compared with other European Union member states.

"Malaysia's trade with Belgium amounted to US$1.2
billion last year, an increase of 20 per cent from US$1.1 billion recorded in

"Exports to Belgium were valued at US$591.5 million,
an increase of 3.9 per cent, while imports were amounted to US$623 per cent, up
40.7 per cent," he said.

In terms of investments, a total of 27 Belgian
manufacturing projects valued at US$595.4 million had been implemented, while
42 manufacturing projects valued at US$245.9 million had been approved, he

These projects are mainly in chemicals and chemical
products, rubber products, food manufacturing and fabricated metal products, he

Dungau said potential areas of investment in Malaysia for
Belgium in the manufacturing sector were green technology industry in the solar
products and solar panels, electrical and electronic.

"Other areas are aerospace, medical devices
and pharmaceutical product, machinery and equipment, non-metallic mineral, basic
metal, oil and gas, global operation hub and logistics," he said.

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