MALAYSIAN small and medium enterprises (SMEs) must overcome significant issues and challenges to integrate into the global supply chain.

To address this, the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific recently held the Malaysian SME national conference to discuss the future prospects of homegrown SMEs in a swiftly changing global environment.

Vice chairman Datuk Seri Dr Vaseehar Hassan Abdul Razack said the conference acted as a catalyst for driving positive change and promoting sustainable growth in the SME sector.

“As SMEs need to also adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices, the event is a hub for exploring sustainable growth pathways.

“We are at a crucial point where SMEs need to adapt and evolve to succeed in an increasingly competitive global market,” he said.

Meanwhile, SME Association of Malaysia national deputy president Datin Dorph Peng said the collaboration and dialogue facilitated at the conference were crucial for guiding the future of Malaysian SMEs. 

“By harnessing innovation, talent and ESG principles, SMEs can unlock new opportunities and drive inclusive economic development,” she said.

The Malaysian SME National conference brought together SME owners, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, economic and industry experts, bankers, and government officials to discuss strategies for revitalising, reinventing and re-energising Malaysian SMEs. 

The discussions covered crucial topics such as SME financing, talent development, innovation, digital skills and the necessity of adopting ESG practices. 

Furthermore, these sessions offered insights into financing challenges, global supply chain integration and IPO opportunities for SMEs.

With around 200 participants, the conference enabled discussions, networking opportunities and knowledge exchange among industry stakeholders. 

The recommendations from these deliberations will be presented by the SME Association and the Economic Club of Kuala Lumpur (ECKL) to relevant ministries and agencies, paving the way for tangible actions to support SME growth and sustainability.