The ongoing collaboration between SME Corp and BAE Systems to develop local SMEs is bearing fruit.
Richard McKie, director for offset programmes and group business development at BAE Systems, noted that there are success stories from the collaboration between the two countries such as Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM).
“A lot of these stories do fall under the radar. But we have about four or five companies now collaborating with companies in Malaysia. Our personnel are coming in and we have developed successful SME relationships here,” McKie said.
McKie noted that there has been good progression in the collaboration over the years.
And while most of its earlier efforts were focused on creating awareness on the matching opportunities available, McKie said BAE Systems is working with SME Corp to align its efforts to what the Malaysian government is doing to develop the SMEs.
“We have about 7,000 suppliers globally. So we have a lot of suppliers that we can link in to Malaysia. And that is really what we are trying to achieve with SME Corp,” McKie said.
But McKie points out that it is not only the local SMEs that benefit from these partnerships.
Through this collaboration, BAE Systems is able to tap into the innovations available here, which gives it access to the regional market.
“A lot of SMEs here have some good innovations. And we are talking to some companies now about how we can commercialise their technology here in Malaysia for the SME community. And really, the small companies can come up with ideas a lot faster than we can.
“It gives us access to some of these technologies that is being used globally and that’s what really excites us here. SMEs drive BAE Systems,” he said.
SME Corporation deputy chief executive officer Saifol Bahri Mohd Shamlan said the agency is looking at intensifying efforts to build SMEs in the aerospace sector, where an industry blueprint will be drafted for this purpose.
Saifol Bahri explained that while collaboration efforts in the past have been very much government-to-government, the SME industry is starting to see more B2B efforts and the key to fostering such relationships is to provide platforms for these companies to meet.
The collaboration between SME Corp and BAE Systems, which started in 2011, has resulted in a series of events to raise awareness on collaborative opportunities for SMEs from Malaysia and the UK.
The partnerships involve opportunities for training, long-term revenue and technology transfer, which would benefit local SMEs involved in the aerospace supply chain.
As part of the ongoing dialogue and trade partnerships between UK and Malaysia, BAE Systems will be participating in SME Corp’s annual SME showcase, Smidex2014, which will be held from June 4 to 6 in KLCC.
BAE Systems will be bringing in several UK SMEs for business-matching opportunities with Malaysian companies at the exhibition. UK SMEs participation in Smidex2014 is part of the outcome of the UK-Malaysian Industrial Conference held on 26 February,
For more details about Smidex2014, visit www.smidex.my.