Local SMIs want good African partners

  • Business
  • Thursday, 29 Jul 2004

LOCAL small- and medium-sized industries (SMIs) want to have good African partners to be successful in their investments in the African continent. 

Malaysian Small- and Medium-Scale Industry (SMI) Association president Looi Teong Chye said difficulty in getting good business partners who could deliver projects undertaken had been the major obstacle for many local SMIs to invest in African countries. 

“We see the potentials of doing business in Africa but many are afraid to proceed as they cannot find good and reliable partners, a crucial aspect for viable investments,” he told Bernama

Lack of infrastructures and understanding of the business culture in host countries were among other hurdles, he said. 

“We have had members who invested in the timber industry but were hampered by poor infrastructures such as seaports, airports and communication links,” he said. 

He added that the African counterparts should be given more exposure to international business culture through visits and trade missions.  

“The business culture in those countries may not be very matured. We hope to see an improvement of their understanding of the international business culture through better exposures via trade missions organised by both sides. 

“This will give them an opportunity to know how we do business,” he said. 

Meanwhile, local SMI entrepreneurs in Langkawi are hoping that they would be given more opportunities for direct involvement in Langkawi International Dialogue (LID). 

Roshadah Yosof, who owns Atma Alam Batik ART Village, said most of the locals would like to participate in LID but did not know whom to approach and how. 

“It will be nice if the people of Langkawi are encouraged to join in as well,” she said. 

Langkawi Tourism Action Council event manager Azmil Munif Mohd Bukhari said although invitations were extended to several SMI entrepreneurs here, many could not accept them simply because they were not ready to go international. 

Azmil said only Rojam Industries Sdn Bhd, a leading producer of Tongkat Ali and Gamat-based products, had confirmed participation. 

The company will, for the first time, display about 70 Gamat-based products at a three-day showcase during the dialogue. – Bernama  

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