Enhanced Collaboration for Shared Prosperity

YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali Calls for Enhanced Collaboration Between the UAE and Malaysia at Expo Dubai 2020

Bilateral meeting with H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq, Minister of Economy UAE and H.E. Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade UAE.

Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali visited the Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai as part of the initiatives of the Trade and Investment Mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) he is currently leading. The visit aims to keep abreast with the construction progress of the Pavilion, which is set to attract one million visitors and the participation of 300 Malaysian companies as well as 5,000 delegates for Malaysia’s trade and business programmes scheduled throughout the expo.

The Expo, which will be held for six months from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022, will play a pivotal role in promoting Malaysia’s strength as a trade and investment hub for businesses in the MENASA region (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region) and beyond. The Expo will be participated by 192 countries and international organisations and targets to attract 25 million visitors. Given the scale of this most anticipated Expo, Malaysian companies can fully leverage the platform to expedite their business recovery due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Expo is themed as “Connecting Minds Creating the Future'' with sub-themes “Opportunity”, “Mobility”, and “Sustainability”, while the Malaysia Pavilion’s theme is “Energising Sustainability”. The Malaysia Pavilion drew its inspiration from the rainforest and selected commodities sourced responsibly to reflect the development of a smart city. To this end, credit must go to the Malaysian team who have contributed their tireless efforts, despite facing multiple challenges due to movement controls imposed throughout the period of completing this project. 

Malaysia’s participation in the Expo is projected to generate RM10 billion (USD2.5 billion) of potential trade and investments through 1,000 business leads and formalisation of 20 Memorandums of Understanding/Agreements during the Expo. “It is essential for Malaysia to put a value proposition which is able to elevate our country’s advantages in future technology and science, conducive investment and business environment as well as numerous opportunities in new and emerging economic sectors such as fintech, Industry 4.0, eco-industrial park and renewable energy (RE). Malaysia’s participation in the World Expo will be able to highlight these emerging areas to high-value partners from around the world and this is very timely in the current challenging economic context,” Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said. 

According to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia - the lead Ministry managing Malaysia’s participation in the Expo - the Malaysia Pavilion’s exterior is expected to be completed by end of May 2021 while the Interior Design, AV and Technology fit-out is scheduled to commence from June onwards. The final completion for the entire building with an operational fitness certificate is targeted by September 2021. 

Prior to Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin’s visit to Expo Dubai 2020, he had met with H.E. Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, the Minister of State for International Cooperation of the UAE. During the meeting, he congratulated H.E. Reem Ebrahim and the UAE Government as a whole for their commitment to organising the first World Expo in the MENASA region and their utmost dedication in facilitating the participating countries’ efforts to construct their respective Pavilions within a strict set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

“The Expo will definitely serve as an important platform for business opportunities in the face of the global economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.” - YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry.

“I communicated to H.E Reem Ebrahim that it is imperative for UAE to carry out the event despite facing the difficulties caused by the pandemic. The Expo will definitely serve as an important platform for business opportunities in the face of the global economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. I had also extended Malaysia’s best wishes on Expo 2020 to the UAE Government,” the Senior Minister said. 

The Malaysia Pavilion will also be conducting a series of key events organised by various Ministries. Among them are: 

(i) World Halal Economic Forum organised by Halal Development Corporation (an agency under Ministry of International Trade and Industry); 

(ii) Malaysia UAE Investment Week by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (an agency under Ministry of International Trade and Industry); 

(iii) Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (an agency under Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities); and 

(iv) Malaysia International Tech Summit (MITS) by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. 

During the meeting with H.E Reem Ebrahim too, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin proposed for more collaboration between Malaysia and UAE Pavilion at the Expo on areas such as business matching, social programmes, seminar and exchange of invitation as speakers/audiences. These enhanced areas of collaboration are aimed at creating more business opportunities and boosting bilateral relations between the two nations. 

Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) calls on the Malaysian business community to accelerate the adoption of industry 4.0 (i4.0) technologies in line with the National Industry4WRD Policy. Understanding the application and benefits of the technologies and processes are key for industries’ transformation to remain relevant and face global competition during these challenging times. 

In the effort to improve the business community’s awareness and adoption of i4.0, MITI is organising a webinar entitled The Road Ahead with Industry4WRD on 4 May 2021. Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, YB Datuk Lim Ban Hong will officiate the webinar organised in collaboration with MITI Agencies and the industries represented by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and SME Association. 

Set to attract over 200 industry Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the event aims to promote MITI’s Industry4WRD Readiness Assessment (RA) and Intervention Fund (IF) programmes under the Twelfth Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025 where the Government has approved an allocation of RM100 million. The webinar will feature four presentations on Industry4WRD Policy and Readiness Assessment, On-site Readiness Assessment, Intervention Fund and related grants as well as an experience sharing session by an SME that has undergone industry 4.0 adoption under the Industry4WRD initiatives. 

Industry4WRD RA is a comprehensive programme to help SMEs assess their capabilities and readiness to adopt i4.0 technologies and processes by using a pre-determined set of indicators to understand their present capabilities and gaps. Through the programme, SMEs will be assessed based on the three-shift factors crucial to industry 4.0, namely people, process and technology. 

SMEs which have undergone the Industry4WRD RA programme that receives recommendations to migrate to i4.0. can avail the Industry4WRD Intervention Fund (IF) - a matching grant with a maximum amount of RM500,000 with an upfront payment of 30 per cent by the Government to kickstart the company’s intervention strategies towards i4.0 adoption. SMEs can also apply for other incentives such as the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund and High Impact Fund to facilitate their i4.0 migration plan. 

MITI is committed to building a holistic ecosystem for manufacturing and its related services sector through the implementation of various initiatives under the Industry4WRD Policy. The Government will support and assist more SMEs in their digital i4.0 transformation journey, to remain competitive by capturing the benefits of disruptive technologies and innovation. This is also essential to assist businesses to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 and ensure their resilience.

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