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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        4  June 2011

Malaysia scouts Japanese SMEs

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Malaysia is looking to attract Japanese small and medium enterprises (SME) in the high-technology sector to relocate their operations overseas. Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the SMEs were mostly in automotive as well as electrical and electronics industries.

"We will work hard to attract them because Malaysia is the best choice for the Japanese companies, including in meeting their government's need to locate their data centres overseas after being hit by the tsunami in March," he told said after the closure of the Kedah Economic Transformation Lab on Thursday.

The three-day lab, organised by the ministry, attracted over 100 entrepreneurs, academicians and economists. It has identified 28 economic initiatives that would be forwarded to the government. Earlier, Mukhriz urged Malaysian companies to think outside the box and be creative in helping the government boost the economy.

He said the exports of wood-based and health products and gloves to Japan were expected to increase.

He also said that Malaysia's economy was on track to grow further after suffering a decline during the economic crisis in 2009.

"In 2006, we recorded RM1 trillion in trade. In 2009, there was a slight fall following the cancellation of orders by US and European companies.

"There are no problems now. Last year, the value increased to RM1.2 trillion and we are now on the right track," he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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