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Small & Medium Business Corp. Inks MOU with Malaysian Industry Development Authority
SBC President Lee Ki-Woo(right) and Datuk Jalila Baba, Director General of MIDA shake hands after signing a MOU in Seoul on Feb. 8, 2010.

The Small & Medium Business Corporation (SBC) concluded an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Feb. 8 with Malaysian Industry Development Authority (MIDA) during a ceremony held at SBC head office in Seoul.

Under the MoU signed by SBC President Lee Ki-Woo and Datuk Jalila Baba, Director General of MIDA, the two organizations agreed to cooperate in promoting investment and industrial cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the two countries.

MIDA is the Malaysian government's principal agency promoting the manufacturing and services sectors of the country.

According to the MoU, a representative from SBC will be invited to work at MIDA's Korea Desk in Kuala Lumpur bringing the two organizations into contact with each other directly on a daily basis, thus providing yet another dimension to the already collaboration efforts that exist between MIDA and SBC.

"The forging of this strategic alliance between MIDA and SBC is indeed timely as Malaysia is about to launch the New Economic Model which will be based on talent, creativity, innovation and high value source of growth,"director general Datuk Jalilah Baba of MIDA told reporters after signing the MoU with SBC.

SBC is a non-profit, government-funded organization established to implement government policies and programs for the sound growth and development of Korean SMEs.

At present, Malaysia is focusing on attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the knowledge intensive service sector in efforts to shift the country towards the new source of growth.

Malaysia is targeting Korea's knowledge-based small and medium-sized industries in particular.

Meeting with reporters, Datuk Kalilah Baba went on to say that her country is determined to go out of the value-chain by promoting such high-knowledge content industries as green energy, health devices and automotive parts in line with the new economic model.

"The new economic model is intended to shift Malaysia's reliance from a manufacturing base dependent on semi-skilled and low coast labor to one that focuses on high technology and modern service sector dependent upon skilled and highly paid workers,"she explained pointing out that Malaysia's comparative advantages in terms of its multi-lingual workforce, strategic location with good connectivity, developed infrastructure, liberal equity and expatriate employment policies and a package of attractive fiscal and non fiscal incentives.

More recently, the incentives were extended to testing facilities for medical devices to draw more foreign investors to set up new testing laboratories for medical devices and also to encourage existing companies to upgrade their facilities to global standards, she added.

She then noted that the year 2010 would be the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between Korea and Malaysia.

In this vein, she expressed hope that the two governments will undertake the projects or programs that could be implemented to reflect the cordial relations between the two countries.

Against this backdrop, Malaysia is considering dispatching a high-powered trade and investment mission to visit Korea in mid-July this year with an eye of targeting at attracting new investments from Korea as well a investments in expansion and diversification activities especially in high-tech, capital intensive, knowledge intensive and high-value added industries, she said.

Pointing out that Korea-Malaysia has strong trade relations with ASEAN, she maintained that Malaysia is well placed to take advantage of the good historical and economic ties with Korea to invite Korean investors to invest in Malaysia and export to ASEAN region.

"The forthcoming Malaysian mission is targeting at attracting new investments from Korea as well as investments in expansion and diversification activities,"she said.

With ample opportunities and incentives provided by Malaysia for foreign investors, Malaysia would like to request the support from the government of Korea to promote more investments from Korea into Malaysia, she said.

Malaysia's economy is expected to grow between 4% and 5% in 2010. Foreign investment inflows in Malaysia are expected to be sustained in 2010.

The 2009 data showed foreign manufacturing investments were returning to the levels prior to the record foreign investments registered in the last two years.

The trend in projects approved over the last five years was capital intensive in nature, she concluded,






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