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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     23-24 November  2011

Google Malaysia to rope in 50,000 SME’s online

Google Malaysia targets 50,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to set up a website and be active online within a year through its "Get Malaysian Business Online" (GMBO) programme.

Country Manager Sajith Sivanandan said that getting the 50,000 SMEs online was not a problem and "what we want is to get every single SME that is not online to take part in this programme."

To date, only 100,000 of the 700,000 SMEs have a website, he said.

Sajith is confident that they can achieve the target of getting businesses online as it has numerous benefits to SMEs.

Among the benefits are the first 10,000 SMEs will be set up for free and a free RM200 AdWords coupon will be offered for the first 50,000 signings, he told reporters after Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim launch the programme.

The GMBO is a nationwide initiative by Google Malaysia with the support of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, .my Domain Registry and ITrain Malaysia Sdn Bhd to help SMEs get their businesses online.

ITrain chief executive officer Bikesh Lakhminchand said the first 1,000 SMEs signing for the programme will be given free training on how to start a website and after that the training will be subsidised to RM80 per SME.

The yearly annual renewals for the domain are at a heavily discounted RM23. Malaysia is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to have access to GMBO facility.

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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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