MIRI: Some 30,000 small and medium enterprise (SME) leaders in Sarawak will have a chance to meet face to face with established global brains in the international arena when Miri City hosts 3rd Asian Entrepreneurship Conference from Oct 25 to 30.
The first two editions of the conference were held in South Korea and China.
Yesterday, the top brass and organising committee from the International Council of SMEs (ICSME) paid a courtesy call to Miri Mayor Lawrence Lai and briefed the various business associations on the coming event.
ICSME vice-president Zakaria Taib said his committee was proud to have Miri City as the host city.
“We are an affiliate of the International Council for Small Businesses that is based in Washington. We were formed 60 years ago and now we have partners and affiliates in 80 countries worldwide.
“In Asia, our headquarters is in South Korea and our members are from all the Asean countries plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
“Our mission is to promote the SMEs throughout the world because these small and medium business people made up the biggest population of business players in the world.
“We have links with the top brains in the world in the academic fields, the technology sectors and also established SMEs that had successfully gain footholds throughout the world in the various sectors they are in, for example, tourism, manufacturing, services industries and information technology.”
Zakaria said the committee wanted to bring these top players from throughout the world to come to Miri so that local SMEs from Sarawak and other states in Malaysia could come and meet them face to face and establish vital linkages that could help propel the SMEs here to greater heights.
“In Malaysia, SMEs are still contributing only about 33% to the overall economy even though at least 90% of all businesses are SMEs.
“There is still so much potential for SMEs in this state, and in Malaysia, to gain international exposure and carry their businesses to greater heights,” he added.
Zakaria thanked Miri business pioneering tycoon Datuk Lau Siu Wai for playing a pivotal role in enabling the event to be held in Miri.
It was through Lau’s effort and hardwork that the organisers were able to garner the necessary publicity to draw the international SMEs to Miri, he stressed.
Lai said it was an honour for Miri City to play host to such a global scale gathering.
“Not only is it a big boost for Miri and Sarawak, but more importantly, it will give the SMEs in Sarawak and Malaysia a chance to forge links with those international SMEs that had established themselves in their businesses.
“We expect at least 300 international business leaders to come to Miri. From the local scene, there will be at least 500 top business people attending also,” he said.
There were about 30,000 SMEs in Sarawak, Lai said, adding that the event in Miri would be the excellent avenue for them to forge business partnerships or contacts with the global players who would be attending.
Lai called on all the business groups and companies to attend the event as this would be a golden opportunity for them to promote their products and establish collaborations and future business ties.