LONDON-BASED international marketing consultancy firm Seka Ltd is confident of getting more Malaysian companies to seek its assistance in setting up trade with Middle Eastern countries.
Seka managing director Haysam Jazairi said the Middle East offered tremendous business opportunities that had not been fully explored.
But prospective businessmen must also be aware that conducting business in the Middle East may not be easy especially if they do have a good grasp of local laws, culture and business sentiments, he told Starbiz in Kuala Lumpur.
Jazairi said many non-Middle Eastern businessmen had lost money trying to penetrate the market due to their shallow knowledge about the region.
Besides acting as a consultant on Middle East business practices, Seka would find suitable business partners for Malaysian businessmen and companies.
He said Seka had compiled extensive data on Middle East companies to ensure that they have good financial standing and quality products before recommending them for possible partnership with Malaysia companies.
However, we want to stress that we will not be able to guarantee that our clients will secure good contracts but our extensive research and consultancy can ensure that they stand better chances of success, he said, adding that partnerships would enable Middle East goods to enter the Malaysian markets.
We know that besides being a market for Malaysian goods such as consumer, electronics, and oil and gas industry items, the Middle East also produces food items which have growing demand in Malaysia, he said, adding that Malaysia had developed a reputation in the Middle East for quality products.
Seka has more than 10 offices in Middle East and Europe utilising local talents, among them in Bahrain, Qatar, Damascus, Hamburg, Paris and Milan. Foreign businesses should ideally have local partners if they want to do well as the local partners are the ones who will know the domestic conditions best, he said.
The company set up its Asia-Pacific regional office in Kuala Lumpur three years ago and has helped more than 15 Malaysian companies to penetrate the Middle Eastern market.
``We are currently discussing with more than 30 Malaysian firms on possible ventures to enter the Middle Eastern market,'' Jaizari said. The Asia-Pacific regional office would offer its services to businessmen in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines and Hong Kong.
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