BAE Systems and UKTI DSO hosted a business opportunity and networking event for UK SMEs in London on Friday March 23. The purpose of the event was for UK SMEs to learn about opportunities to explore and develop mutually beneficial partnerships with Malaysian counterparts across a wide range of industries including aerospace and high-end technology. The event was also supported by key organisations including: Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), SME Corporation, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).
The event, which was well received by all participating companies, was opened by Keith Smith, Regional Director of UKTI DSO, Asia Pacific. Also featured in the programme were briefings by BAE Systems, MIDA, and MINDEF on key topics such as the opportunities for SMEs in Malaysia, the importance of offset to a multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) campaign and how such offset policies brought widespread benefit to Malaysia.
“Malaysia is a capable, prosperous and flexible market in which to operate, and a prominent player in the ASEAN region. The Malaysian government has outlined support and financial incentives for inward foreign investment and we are delighted to see that both the UK and Malaysian governments are devoting new energy to the important relationship between the two countries. As a company with a long history in Malaysia, BAE Systems recognises the country’s potential and our industrial strategy continues to forge strong and sustainable relationships with the Malaysian defence and security industry, where we recognise SMEs as a key engine of growth, employment and innovation” said Alan Garwood, Group Business Development Director of BAE Systems.
Having already established close ties with Malaysia and a track record of successful partnerships its UK home market, BAE Systems is well positioned to be an ideal bridge to the industrial gap between Malaysia and the UK.
Alan Garwood further explained: “BAE Systems believes that innovation greatly enhances corporate competitiveness in the global market; an example, being Britain, which has enjoyed broad success due to its approach to innovation and creativity. We see the same trend occurring in Malaysia with broad-ranging initiatives to cultivate innovation; hence we strongly encourage UK SMEs to participate”.
“UK SMEs should engage Malaysian industry to better understand each other’s offerings and thereby determine areas of synergy for future collaboration. There are many benefits that result; not least being the growth of the indigenous technology base in Malaysia and a UK SME community with much broader market scope. It is a win-win situation” explained Keith Smith, Regional Director for UKTI DSO.
“Malaysia’s Vision 2020 relies on the creativity, energy and initiative of the private sector and SMEs as the primary driver of growth. Malaysia offers a suitable environment for UK to leverage key partnerships across a wide range of industrial sectors. We welcome such partnership as we believe that it moves Malaysia up the value chain; boosting innovation, creativity and quality among local players” said Sangaran Narayanan, Director, Machinery and Supporting Industries Division, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
BAE Systems has had a presence in Malaysia for more than 20 years and established South East Asia regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. As part of BAE Systems’ continuing commitment to Malaysia, this initiative is a follow-up to an SME event hosted in Kuala Lumpur in November last year. The Company is looking to play a significant role in Malaysia’s economic, technology and capacity development via partnerships with innovative SMEs, government agencies and key academic institutions.