PETALING JAYA: To ensure the country’s economic growth, the government aims to become more pro-business with the aim of making doing business in Malaysia considerably easier overall.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the private sector is the engine of growth for the economy, and without it, the economy would never grow.
“The private sector is not our enemy, and the government is not the enemy of the private sector. Hence, we must work together,” he said during his opening speech of the dialogue session held by the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) with the Transport Ministry at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya.
The session was part of Star Media Group’s Export Excellence Awards (EEA) 2023 events to offer businesses insight into export strategies.
Loke said that the government is indeed focusing on foreign direct investments, however, he believes domestic direct investment is equally important in order to spur economic growth.
“We not only want to provide a place for foreign companies to come in, but we also want Malaysian companies to be competitive and innovative by looking into opportunities to tap into the market,” he said.
He said regulations and policies are in need of updates and change, as most government employees will look at procedures only from the point of view of regulations because they are not involved in industry.
Loke stressed the importance of the need to receive input from industry stakeholders, as this allows the government to view things from a much broader perspective and enable the recognition of real issues.
He explained that not many are aware of technical aspects, especially in the shipping, port, and maritime sectors, hence the importance listening to industry stakeholders’ and learning their perspectives on such matters.
“Once the real practical problem is understood, only then can we try changing it from a policy point of view. Not only will it help a particular company but the entire industry as well,” he added.
Commenting on the efforts towards sustainability within the transportation industry, Loke said the government is continuously looking into it as it is an important goal that must be achieved.
Loke said the ministry is currently working on suggestions for sustainability and decarbonisation to be proposed to the Energy Commission.
Some of the ideas include enabling warehouses to install solar panels to generate electricity for their own usage.
Apart from the dialogue session, MICCI also held its 50th annual general meeting on the same day.
MICCI president Christina Tee said that MICCI is ready to take in any members who want to achieve higher goals.
“If you want to be international, if you want to grow your business, if you want to become somebody who is recognised, come forward. Invest some time with us and you will achieve what you need,” she said.
Meanwhile, MICCI member Standard Chartered Bank said it is focused on high-growth, emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Middle East, and is able to help exporters mitigate export and foreign exchange risk so that they can grow profitably.
Wong Yee Mei, a representative from the business banking department of Standard Chartered noted that recent news about the Madani Economy framework will include domestic direct investment as a key performance indicator.
Wong said, in terms of providing funding for the growth of small, and medium enterprises (SMEs), Standard Chartered Malaysia provides collateral free guaranteed instalment loans of up to RM2mil.
Star Media Group (SMG) independent non-executive director and chairman Tan Sri Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung said he believes that SMEs are the backbone of the country and that the government must pay more attention to.
“As far as business is concerned, SMG will go all out to help our SMEs,” Chor said during his opening speech.
He said that every year the group organises awards including EEA, and so far SMG has crowned 97 EEA winners since the Awards’ establishment in 2019.
Export-oriented companies interested in participating the EEA may submit their applications online via the EEA website. Nominations will close on Oct 19, 2023.
The EEA 2023 is organised by SMG in partnership with Standard Chartered Malaysia, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd as a co-sponsor, and Malaysia External Trade Development Corp as patron, and is audited by BDO Malaysia.
For more information about EEA 2023, go to exportawards.com.my or email firstname.lastname@example.org.