SMART PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRICA: Najib upbeat on laying foundation for economic transformation
MALAYSIA will lend a helping hand to Tanzania in the area of economic transformation, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said this on his Twitter account @NajibRazak before leaving for the African nation for an international smart partnership conference.
"Getting ready to fly to Tanzania this afternoon. Malaysia is helping them to lay the foundation for economic transformation," he tweeted yesterday.
Najib is leading the Malaysian delegation to the four-day Global Smart Partnership Dialogue themed "Leveraging Technology For Africa's Socio-Economic Transformation" here.
According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, Malaysia's presence at the dialogue showed the country's commitment to addressing international issues, especially those that were of importance to the African continent.
The prime minister's participation in this year's dialogue will also help to forge closer links between Malaysia and the participating African countries, besides enhancing bilateral relations between Malaysia and Tanzania.
Meanwhile, David Christy reports that Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation chief executive officer, Datuk Dr Wong Lai Sum, called on Malaysian companies and entrepreneurs to take Africa seriously.
The continent is brimming with opportunities and these are not just in the supply of goods, she said.
"If you look around, it's also about the supply of services to the information and communications technology, construction and energy sectors," she told Malaysian newsmen at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre ahead of the opening of the dialogue here yesterday.
To encourage the participation of Malaysian businesses in the continent, Matrade has put in place what Wong termed "Project Africa".
Malaysians also needed to change the perception that Africans wanted to buy goods only in small quantities.
There is considerable interest in Malaysian products and this can translate into big orders for the nation's manufacturers, she added.
Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management Ltd (CPTM) chairman Tan Sri Dr Omar Abdul Rahman said the dialogue opened doors across the continent for Malaysian businesses.
"But you cannot expect instant gratification. You cannot make millions overnight. You've got to stay here, get to know the people and the business environment."
CPTM is co-organiser of the international dialogue.
Omar also said the dialogue would focus on approaches to improve access to finance, boosting quality and standards in trade, and the use of technology and promotion of innovation.
The dialogue, which began yesterday evening and ends on Monday, is being attended by heads of state and government from Africa, as well as business leaders, scientists, academicians and students.
Najib arrived here last night. He is scheduled to join the sessions today.