Malaysia’s GDP growth is beyond expectations of many, says Wahid

Posted on : 24-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

SHAH ALAM— Malaysia’s robust economic growth of 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 is beyond the expectations of many, said Permodalan Nasional Bhd Chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.

He said the government’s resolve by focusing on the fundamentals has been proven to be the right strategy.

“It is underpinned by broad-base growth in all sectors. I encourage all quarters to play their respective part to grow the economy,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2016 prepared by the Performance Management Delivery Unit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, here tonight.

Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the endorsements of international firms such as Forbes, BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the US, reflected investor confidence in the country.

“They ranked Malaysia as the best country for investors in 2017 and a top destination for foreign direct investments among Asian countries,” he said.
He said Malaysia had done well in trade, as well as tourism, this was indicated by the influx of Chinese tourists into the country.

“We need to sustain this momentum, we need to ensure peace and stability as this is one of the hallmarks of Malaysia, our ability to live together in peace and harmony,” he added.


BID-IT (Business in Digital Programme) aids young entrepreneurs

Posted on : 24-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR – SME Bank has launched the Business in Digital Programme (BID-IT) funding programme to assist young entrepreneurs aged between 20 and 35 to expand their small businesses and ventures into the digital and e-commerce platform.

Nineteen companies have been selected to be a part of the initial stage of the overall development programme before receiving funding from SME Bank.

SME Bank Group Managing Director Datuk Mohd Razif Mohd Yunus said the main selection criteria included the use of technology for business development, financing needs and a strong business model.

“This programme is continued yearly to achieve the target following the growing trend among young entrepreneurs doing business through digital platforms,” he told reporters after the launch of BID-IT by Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan here, today.

Mohd Razif said under the programme, SME Bank worked with nine other organisations, namely Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Global Innovation & Creativity Centre, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, New Entrepreneurs Foundation, Payoneer Inc, Dewan Perniagaan Usahawan Siber Malaysia, Rave Technologies, and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan.

“These organisations act as the selection committee and determine the kind of assistance to be given to the 19 selected companies,” he added.


CIMB bags 5 awards for innovative e-payments solutions

Posted on : 23-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Bank Bhd emerged as the biggest winner at the recently-held Malaysian e-Payments Excellence Awards 2017 (MEEA), after clinching five awards for its contribution to the growth of e-payments in the country.

The five awards it bagged were: Best JomPAY Bank, Best Customer Experience for JomPAY, JomPAY Innovative Award, Best Interbank GIRO (IBG) Bank, and Financial Process Exchange (FPX) Innovative Award.

“CIMB is committed to driving e-payments by providing our customers and the public alternative channels to transact reliably, securely and efficiently at their convenience,” said CIMB group chief executive Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz on the wins.

“We are focused on migrating more businesses and organisations to e-payments by being the key enabler in Malaysia’s journey to embrace a digital economy,” added Zafrul in a statement today.

The awards it secured reflected CIMB’s efforts to increase JomPAY transaction volume and engagement with clients, said the bank.

“The JomPAY Innovative and FPX Innovative Awards are a result of CIMB’s innovative bundling of JomPAY and FPX with other products and services, including the award-winning CIMB EVA app, to provide a comprehensive suite of Cash Management solutions in meeting the evolving needs of customers,” the statement read.

As for being named Best IBG Bank, that was based on the bank’s significant share of IBG transaction volume, strong year-on-year volume growth and high conversion volume from cheque payments to IBG payment, it added.

The MEEA is organised annually by the Malaysian Electronic Clearing Corp Sdn Bhd (MyClear), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Negara Malaysia that operates Malaysia’s key payment systems and financial market infrastructures.


Palm oil & rubber NKEA (New Economic Area) to pursue new, existing initiatives to enhance productivity

Posted on : 23-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR– The Palm Oil and Rubber New Economic Area (NKEA) will continue to pursue new and existing initiatives to increase productivity and improve the livelihood of stakeholders in the upstream industry, as well as further add value in the downstream.

Under the Palm Oil NKEA for upstream section in 2016, a major initiative driven by the government was the full roll out of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification, which saw 122,521 hectares and seven palm oil mills being certified.

Outlining the initiatives in the National Transformation Programme Annual Report 2016 released today, the Performance Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu) said a substantial pipeline had also been built for certification in 2017.

“From 2017 onwards, the MSPO development and certification would be carried out by the Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council, even though the Malaysian Palm Oil Board will remain involved in the development of smallholder certification.

“This would ensure streamlined certification processes and demonstrate Malaysia’s commitment to achieving environmental sustainability in palm oil plantations,” said Pemandu in the report.

On the downstream side, integration continues to gain momentum with more new projects in the commercialisation of high-value oleo derivatives, food and health products, as well as clinical trials globally to support the use of palm phytonutrients as health supplements.

“Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, RM280 million worth of grants have been allocated to support these initiatives,” said the report.

As for the Rubber NKEA, it said the focus had been to increase demand, as well as enhance the quality of supply, hence the Malaysian Rubber Board was aggressively exploring new uses of rubber domestically and abroad, especially in the areas of green rubber for transportation and other industrial use.

“This was undertaken in collaboration with stakeholders in the public and domestic sectors to create true demand-driven growth,” said the report.

The report said RM5.129 billion has been allocated to the Palm Oil and Rubber NKEA from 2011 until 2020.

Up until 2016, all allocations have either been spent or committed to be spent on new and existing initiatives, while the remaining funds will be staggered and released in stages until the projected completion of this NKEA in 2020.


RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) to boost growth momentum in region

Posted on : 23-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR-The implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would be a boost to the growth momentum in the region, especially as it involves countries which are among the fastest growing economies in the world.

As such, with the view to push for a conclusion to the RCEP negotiations, the recently held third (RCEP) Intersessional Ministerial Meeting provided its members with political guidance on key outstanding areas , namely goods, services and investment, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in a statement today.

Ministers and vice-ministers who attended the meeting had agreed to provide flexibilities to bridge the gaps on issues and challenges faced in achieving consensus on certain elements of the modalities related to goods, services and investment.

“These flexibilities are allowed in the initial stage to cater to the different levels of ambition of the RCEP member countries.

“This does not in any way undermine our commitment to ensure that RCEP remains a quality agreement and commercially beneficial to all parties involved,” said MITI Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The meeting, held in Hanoi, Vietnam on May 21-22, 2017 was attended by ministers and vice-ministers from ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea and India.

It also highlighted to the negotiating partners that in many areas, ASEAN had made substantial levels of commitment and in some instances going beyond any of the current ASEAN+1 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

“The willingness of ASEAN to go beyond the existing ASEAN+1 FTA is due to RCEP’s value and its economic significance to ASEAN and the partner countries.

“It also demonstrates ASEAN’s strong commitment to engage with partner countries in creating this mega FTA,” said Mustapa.

The ministers also agreed that some working groups (WGs) such as the WG on Rules of Origin on Trade in Goods should be allowed to meet intersessionally to expedite their work given that the work done and rules developed were highly technical.

“In Hanoi, the ministers achieved some progress in the negotiations and expressed confidence that the negotiations remained on track. It was also one of the Philippines’s deliverables as Chair of ASEAN 2017,” said the ministry.

Since the launch of RCEP negotiations during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 2012, the ministers have been continuously involved in the negotiating process and to date, they have met formally four times and three times intersessionally including the meeting in Hanoi.

Two out of 20 chapters of the RCEP agreement, namely on economic and technical cooperation and the small and medium enterprises had been concluded, while several others were nearing conclusion.

Senior officials would be meeting for the 19th round of negotiations in Hyderabad, India, scheduled on July 19-28, 2017.

Meanwhile, the ministers would be meeting in September 2017 in the Philippines to further review the progress and address any specific issues that remain unresolved and need ministerial guidance.


MATRADE, MFA (Muar Furniture Association) urge furniture industry to go e-commerce

Posted on : 23-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and Muar Furniture Association (MFA) jointly organised a seminar to promote e-commerce and encourage local furniture companies to penetrate global markets online.

Matrade director of e-Business and Information Technology, Raja Nor Zihan Raja Mohsin, said the seminar was in line with its initiative to promote selected sectors to reach global markets through e-commerce, as highlighted in the National e-commerce Strategic Roadmap.

“Furniture is a highly potential e-commerce sector. Our programme, e-TRADE, offers incentives for local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to start selling globally through the e-marketplaces.

“SMEs must take the opportunity to register for the programme and utilise the benefits. So far, furniture companies in e-TRADE have secured buyers from China, Singapore, Myanmar, Panama and Iraq,” she said in a statement yesterday.

The seminar themed, “Export Opportunities Through e-Commerce For Furniture Industry”, was attended by some 70 MFA members and furniture companies from Johor.

Since January this year, an incentive worth RM5,000 has been provided to qualified companies under the e-TRADE programme to partially cover the listing fee imposed by international e-marketplaces and e-commerce-related services to the companies, Matrade said.

For the first quarter of 2017, exports of furniture recorded a growth of 5.1 per cent as compared to the same period in 2016.

Raja Nor Zihan said 955 companies had joined the e-TRADE Programme since its introduction in October 2014, out of which 111 or 11.6 per cent were from the furniture industry.

Malaysian companies can apply to be an e-TRADE Programme participant through or email their enquiries to


Malaysia expects to generate RM1 billion Astana EXPO 2017

Posted on : 23-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is aiming to secure RM1 billion in trade and investments from the Astana Expo 2017

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili said some 100 private and public sector business players are expected to take part in the expo, scheduled to take place from June 10 to Sept 10.

“We aim to promote cooperation and trade in green energy with Kazakhstan and over 100 participating countries of the Expo 2017,” he said today at a media briefing on the upcoming expo.

The trade balance between Malaysia and Kazakhstan is currently in favour of Malaysia. The trade volume in 2015 was about US$100 million (RM429.5 million) and the figure dropped slightly to US$84 million (RM360.7 million) last year.

Ongkili said Malaysia has an unprecedented opportunity over the next four months to prove to the world that the green energy/technology/growth is in its nature and that the best way to create a Green Future is with Malaysia.

“We have become an emerging market model and we need to use that leadership to prove that an emerging market can drive positive change towards future energy.”

He said Malaysia will have its own pavillion, which carries the theme “Powering Green Growth”. It will allow for business matching sessions and pocket talks will be held based on weekly themes that reflects Malaysia’s strength in various fields of green energy, green technology and the economy.

Malaysia, Ongkili said, is the world’s second best emerging market at providing electricity to business and 8th best among all nations, both developed and emerging.

He said Malaysia produced upwards of 8 Gigawatts of solar potential every year from eight global solar photovoltaic (PV) manufactures that had made Malaysia their manufacturing destination.

“In fact, four of the world’s top 5 largest producers continue to trust Malaysia for its pro-business policies and relatively green infrastructure.

“And my favourite, the World Bank, recently published data that showcases our commitment to a green future. They have benchmarked the world’s leading nations on percentage forest cover.

“For emerging markets, we are number one and fourth amongst the world’s top 100 economies, behind only Finland, Sweden and Japan,” revealed Ongkili.

He also urged Malaysians to inspire a global conversation about future energy and about creating a green future under the hastag #MyButterflyEffect.

“One small action action or social post in this case can cause a large effect in another place. That is what we plan to accomplish. And that is what we will accomplish.

“#MyButterflyEffect is our call call-to-action for all Malaysians to inspire the world for a green future.”


7-eleven first M’sian retailer to accept Alipay

Posted on : 22-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: 7-Eleven Malaysia Bhd is the first retailer in Malaysia to accept the Alipay mobile wallet payment, and looks to attract more Chinese tourists to shop at the convenience store chain.

Chief executive officer Gary Brown said 7-Eleven began accepting Alipay from May 12 and that 94% of the 2,100 stores nationwide had gone “live” with the system.

“All our stores will be able to accept Alipay within the next two days. In China, this payment system is a way of life for shopping, and given the growing number of Chinese tourists here, we are hoping for a high uptake,” he told reporters after the launch of Alipay mobile wallet at 7-Eleven Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpr, on Monday.

The event was launched by Tan Sri Vincent Tan, the founder of Berjaya Corp and majority shareholder of 7-Eleven Malaysia.
Brown said installing the system did not require a huge capital outlay as it can operate with the existing MOL terminal, made possible by 7-Eleven’s strategic partnership with MOL Global Inc, a leading technology provider for in-store payment services.

Senior vice-president of international business for Alipay parent company, Ant Financial Services Group, Douglas Feagin said 2.1 million Chinese tourists visited Malaysia last year and the number is expected to grow to about 3.5 million in 2017.

He said these tourists were already familiar with the payment system’s mechanism and Alipay allowed them to connect with retailers here with information on what was being sold, promotions and store location.

“The number of tourists and merchants will increase and, therefore, economic activity will also improve,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tan, also the majority shareholder of MOL Global, said in Thailand, Chinese tourists spend up to five times more per transaction at 7-Eleven stores via their Alipay mobile wallets compared to the average transaction in Malaysian stores.

“MOL will be an important partner for Alipay to recruit merchants both within and outside the Berjaya Group to widen the payment gateway’s acceptance here.

“We will broaden Alipay’s reach into the Malaysian market by signing up more merchants from various industries. Our next plan is to roll out Alipay in all of the Berjaya Group of companies,” he added.

Berjaya Corp is a leading consumer group, with over 5,000 outlets nationwide and also including Starbucks, Wendy’s, Kenny Rogers, Radioshack, Krispy Kreme and many more.


Microfinance in Malaysia benefited over 1 million enterprises

Posted on : 22-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s microfinance landscape, which has evolved from being government-driven into one with vibrant private sector participation, has benefited more than one million micro enterprises in the country, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

BNM deputy governor Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said at the turn of the century, the sector’s total outstanding financing stood at US$35mil (RM151mil), and had multiplied by more than 30 times to US$1.2bil (RM5.2bil) in 2016.

“Despite having made significant strides since the 1970s to develop a more inclusive financial system, our work in microfinance is still far from complete.

“Its full potential will not be realised until we observe direct linkages to welfare improvement in the micro segment, and ultimately, its sustainable growth,” he said in his speech at the 2017 Global Symposium on Microfinance in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
Abdul Rasheed said microfinancing had enabled to improve the previously excluded segment of the society to create their own incomes, build assets and ultimately improve their standard of living.

“With poverty eradication taking centre stage in the global public policy agenda, as outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the development of microfinance is certainly the most powerful, and it is an important part of Malaysia’s development agenda,” he said.

In 2016, BNM had introduced a comprehensive microfinance framework to promote the development of a sustainable microfinance industry in Malaysia.

“This would give micro entrepreneurs greater access to financing, especially for those with no collateral, supported by simple application procedures, minimal documentation and quick turnaround times,” said Abdul Rasheed.

He said that microfinance was also evolving in the era of unprecedented technological change, adding that adaptability was key for its growth.


APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)’s MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise) need specific initiatives to grow, says Mustapa

Posted on : 21-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) member countries should identify specific initiatives to promote growth and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said concrete measures needed to be put in place to internationalise the MSMEs in the region and to enable them to be linked with the regional and global value chain activities.

Speaking at the two-day Apec Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam over the weekend, he said MSMEs were a priority for Asean and thus Apec and Asean should work together to take the MSME agenda forward.

“It is important that we ensure the benefits from globalisation are inclusive and equitable, especially given the rise of protectionist sentiment in a number of countries. Unlocking opportunities for MSMEs to participate more actively and successfully in global markets therefore will allow enterprises at the grass root level to benefit from closer economic integration,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Mustapa stressed that “the future is digital economy and MSMEs should be an integral part of it.”

In Malaysia, more opportunities for SMEs to enter the global e-commerce market are expected to be created through the investment by AliBaba in Malaysia’s Digital Free Trade Zone, he said.

Meanwhile, Mustapa said Apec economies must resist all kinds of protectionism to achieve the Bogor goals of free and open trade and investment by 2020.

“Malaysia will continue to uphold the centrality of the multilateral trading system while pursuing bilateral and regional preferential arrangements with strategic trading partners to stay competitive,” he said.

He pointed out that Apec economies continued to remain resilient.

Its 21 member countries currently account for half of global trade and 60% of the world’s gross domestic product.

The Apec Regional Trends Analysis report forecast an average 3.8% growth for Apec economies in 2017 and 2018, and 3.7% growth in 2019 from 3.5% growth in 2016.


Analysts upbeat on Malaysia’s economic performance

Posted on : 21-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUCHING: Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.6 per cent year on year (y-o-y) in the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17) has come in slightly above analysts’ expectation of 5.4 per cent y-o-y.

According to the research arm of MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research), Malaysia GDP reached 5.6 per cent y-o-y in the first quarter, the highest in two years.

Based on the current indicators, it highlighted that it is optimistic that Malaysia’s economy to expand by 4.9 per cent this year given the upbeat performance of domestic and global economy.

“The strong growth is expected due to better performance in global as well as domestic economic activities for the first three months in 2017. This is line with the upward trend in industrial production which grew by 4.3 per cent y-o-y during the first quarter,” MIDF Research said.

The research arm maintained its forecast for GDP growth this year at 4.9 per cent.

MIDF Research noted that economic growth for the first quarter was mainly contributed by private consumption and investment with both grew solidly by 6.6 per cent y-o-y and 12.9 per cent y-o-y respectively.

The research arm further noted that apart from that, total investment rose sharply by 10 per cent y-o-y, triple than previous year’s growth of 3.1 per cent.

“Improvement in Malaysia’s consumption and investment is possibly explained by the optimism in consumer and business confidence during the first quarter,” the research arm said.

“According to Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, business confidence rose significantly from 81.2 point in 4Q16 to 112.7 point in 1Q17 while consumer confidence grew firmly to 76.6 point.”

It added that the commendable performance by private sector in the three months of the year validates the rise in both leading indicators.

Meanwhile, MIDF Research highlighted that the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector recorded the highest growth among major economic sectors.

The research arm pointed out that the sector grew by 8.3 per cent y-o-y after four consecutive quarters of contraction.

“Due to elevated commodities prices in global market, rubber and oil palm recorded a double digits growth of 23.5 per cent y-o-y and 17.7 per cent y-o-y respectively.

“For manufacturing, the sector expanded by 5.6 per cent y-o-y,” MIDF Research said.

It added that gradual recovery in global demand and exports market are among the factors contributing towards the better growth in manufacturing sector.

Gauging by current momentum in external demand, the research arm reckoned manufacturing sector would continue to perform better for the rest of the year.

Moving forward, the research arm opined that steady improvement in major economies coupled with modest growth in commodities prices will provide a positive impact on Malaysia’s economy via exports demand and increase in industrial production especially in the export-oriented industries.

“Besides, improving labour market, continued wage growth and moderating inflation will support and spur domestic economy,” it said.


Export of rubber gloves grew 26% in 1Q17

Posted on : 21-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

TELUK INTAN: Malaysian rubber gloves are highly sought after by many countries and for the first quarter of 2017, the country exported more than RM4bil worth of product.

This is a 26% increase compared to the first quarter of 2016, which recorded RM3.2bil in sales.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said Malaysian rubber products are currently exported to more than 195 countries while exports have increased more than threefold from RM5.4bil in 2000 to RM18.2bil in 2016.

He said that out of the total exports for rubber products, RM13.3bil, or 73%, was contributed by rubber gloves.

“Malaysia has remained a world leader in rubber glove exports for the last two decades, capturing over 60% share in the global market.

“Between 2012 and 2016, the export of rubber gloves increased at an average rate of 6% annually.

“The growth momentum is expected to continue in 2017 to reach RM14.1bil in exports,” Mah told reporters after launching the “Donation of One Million Gloves” initiative by the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) with the support of the Perak Health Department and Teluk Intan General Hospital at the Teluk Intan Leaning Tower Square here yesterday.

At the event, he presented a token for one million gloves to department director Datuk Dr Hassan Merican.

The donated gloves will be channelled to hospitals, clinics, dental clinics and other healthcare facilities in the state.

Mah said it was the second series of MREPC’s glove donation programme.

“We started the programme last year with one million gloves that were distributed to hospitals and clinics in Sarawak,” he added.

He also said the per capita consumption of gloves in Asia is relatively low at about 5.5 pairs per year on average, compared to 75 pairs in the United States and 50 pairs in Europe.

Consumption per capita of medical gloves in China is currently at three pairs while in Malaysia, it is about 10 pairs per year for one consumer, he added.

“The market potential in Asian countries for the products, especially China, is huge.

“In Malaysia, some agencies use imported gloves and they should use Malaysian gloves because these are of world standard and affordable, too.”

Mah said MREPC has introduced the Glove Awareness Programme to reach the healthcare community as well as the public on the importance of using gloves in the healthcare environment.


Celcom, Ericsson bring 5G to Malaysia

Posted on : 19-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The domestic telecommunications technology is set to evolve into a whole new level after Celcom Axiata Bhd and Ericsson on Thursday conducted the country’s first 5G trial.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Jailani Johari said the 5G technology was crucial – from empowering the local industry across telecommunication, finance and industrial sectors; to government and private sectors – thus becoming the key to achieving the target to become a developed nation by 2020.

“With the recent launch of the premier digital hub of the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone and Kuala Lumpur Internet City, Malaysia envisions to be the epicentre of South-East Asia’s Internet economy.

“This will drive Malaysia to become one of the world’s largest purpose-built digital hub for technology giants and leading startups from around the globe.
“This is where 5G comes in and plays a key role in ensuring not only efficiency, but also to open a window of opportunity for digital players.

“Ultimately, 5G will be a solid foundation in creating a strong ecosystem to enable innovation,” he said in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Earlier, Celcom chief executive officer Michael Kuehner said Celcom was always committed to developing and continuing the evolution of its network with the latest technologies and to bring the best digital experience to Malaysians.

“5G is very important to Celcom as it will support the development and meet the communication needs of consumers and digitisation of various industries. It is critical that we explore this new generation technology and its capabilities with global partners like Ericsson,” he said.

Meanwhile, Todd Ashton, the president of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka, also described the collaboration with Celcom as a further demonstration of Ericsson’s support for Malaysia on its journey towards 5G, following on the success of the Innovation Centre for 5G set up last year with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

“Together with partners like Celcom, we will study and test this new technology to capture the full potential of 5G for consumers, business users and entire industries in the country,” he said.

Speaking at a press conference later, Kuehner said a lot more trials need to be conducted, from the aspect of technicalities, as well as, the ongoing discussion with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission on the regulatory aspect.

The full roll-out of the network to consumers in Malaysia was expected between 2020 and 2025, while global consumers could experience it as early as February 2018 during the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea and the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.


1,500 SMEs to be listed on platform

Posted on : 19-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA TERENGGANU: A total of 1,500 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be listed on the e-commerce platform by year-end, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said the selection of the eligible SMEs, with a diverse product range, would be carried out throughout the country from Oct 1.

The selection process will be conducted by SME Corp Malaysia, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp, he told reporters after launching the national-level SME Week 2017 from May 4 until May 26 in Kuala Terengganu on Thursday.

He said the listing would use the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) as its marketing platform.
“We are confident that Alibaba’s investment will be a catalyst to boost the performance of the SMEs in order to penetrate foreign markets,” he said.

Present were Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, SME Corp Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid and SME Corp Malaysia chief executive Datuk Hafsah Hashim.

Meanwhile, Mustapa said the Government was in the final stages of drafting a bill to empower SMEs which was expected to be tabled in Parliament in the coming session.

The bill seeks to develop SMEs more systematically, particularly in data collection, he said. “Data collection is important. We’re giving emphasis on the effort through the Department of Statistics in order to get enough data.”

At the event, Mustapa launched the SME Mobile Hub that serves as a one-stop centre to assist the public in dealing with SME Corp.

Themed “Little by Little, Aim for the Sky”, the annual SME Week is organised by SME Corp since 2012 with the aim of attracting entrepreneurs and the public to participate in and benefit from the support services provided by various agencies.


100-year celebration of palm oil industry recognition for smallholders’ contribution

Posted on : 17-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first commercial oil palm planting in the country at Tennamaram Estate, Bestari Jaya, Selangor, today.

Exactly 100 years ago, Henri Fauconnier established the commercial planting of oil palm in the country at Tennamaram Estate in 1917.

At a press conference here yesterday, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will launch the Remarkable 100-year Celebration of the Nation’s Palm Oil Industry at Tennamaram Estate today.

He said some 5,000 smallholders and industry players will attend the event, besides ambassadors, high commissioners and representatives from 30 countries who are buyers of Malaysian palm oil and related products.

At the ceremony, Smallholders Special Award, Commercial Estate Special Award and Tokoh Palm Industry Development Award would be presented, he said.

“We have come a long way. Palm oil is one of the biggest contributors to our economy. We want to send a message to the world that palm oil industry is ahead of other oil in terms sustainability, technology and quality.

“This is actually to recognise the contribution of the 600,000 smallholders and industry players who have contributed to the country’s economy,” he said.

Earlier, Mah received the courtesy visit of Fauconnier’s great grandson, Jeremie Fontaine, at his office here, yesterday. Also present was the ministry’s Secretary-General, Datuk Nagarajan N Marie.

In the next 100 years, Mah said the nation’s palm industry would continue to expand and the ministry’s focus included to increase palm oil exports and related downstream products such as pharmaceutical, oleo derivatives, food and health products.

“This is our way forward. I think that oil palm has a good future in Malaysia. It cannot be denied that we will encounter challenges, however, the palm industry will continue to contribute to the country’s economy. It will continue to grow the way it did in the last 100 years,” he said.

Mah said exports of palm oil and palm-related products for the first quarter of this year totalled RM19.4billion, up 36 per cent from RM14.3 billion in the same period last year.

“The ministry is confident the export value of palm and palm-related products will exceed RM70 billion this year compared to RM 67 billion last year,” he said.

Export of palm oil and palm-related products to China was expected to increase following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd and Sinograin Oils Corporation during Najib’s visit to the republic last Monday.

He said the MoU would provide opportunities to supply and market palm oil products in order to penetrate the midstream and downstream market in China.

“Export of palm oil and palm-related products to China in the first quarter of this year had increased 69 per cent, to RM2.2 billion from RM1.3 billion in the same period in 2016,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mah said he and his counterpart from Indonesia would go to the European Parliament next month to explain on the European Union (EU) Resolution which was unfair to the Malaysian and Indonesian palm industry.