Image credit: Daily Express Malaysia

BERLIN, March 14 (Bernama) – Malaysia’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should work towards achieving international guidelines and compliance to penetrate the global market.

Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick said his ministry is providing guidelines for compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices for the relevant industries.

He said such compliance is important because major world markets such as the United States, Japan and Europe require ESG compliance as criteria for entry of products or services.

“We want SMEs to fulfil such criteria, including halal certification. With this, it’s easier for us to push for the export market and participate in expos like this,” he said on the sideline of the SME Future Day here.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim delivered the keynote address at the event organised by the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW), and visited the Malaysian booth.

According to Ewon, there are currently 1.1 million SMEs in Malaysia, most of which are micro-enterprises, and over 16,000 cooperatives with a total membership of over seven million people

He said the ministry, through SME Bank and SME Corp, sent six Malaysian companies to participate in the expo, with the hope of assisting them to penetrate the German and European markets.

The companies are Marniq Bersatu Sdn Bhd, Primelux Energy Sdn Bhd, Ade Azhar Trading Sdn Bhd, 59Kopa Sdn Bhd, Marrybrown and Old Town White Coffee. 

The ministry, he said, has formulated the Business Exports Programme (BEP) under SME Bank and the Bumiputera Export Incentive Programme (GEB) by SME Corp to promote exports.

“We hope more companies will join these programmes. I have requested a bigger budget for the ministry from the prime minister so that we can send more entreprenuers to overseas expos,” he added.