Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, prime minister of Malaysia and Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of the Republic of Singapore witnessing the signing of memorandum of understanding between SME Corp. Malaysia (represented by Rizal bin Nainy, CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia) and Enterprise Singapore (represented by Lee Chuan Teck, CEO of Enterprise Singapore)

Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, the prime minister of Malaysia, and Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of the Republic of Singapore, convened at The Istana in Singapore on October 30, 2023, to witness the signing of a pivotal memorandum of understanding (MoU) between SME Corp. Malaysia and Enterprise Singapore.

The objective of this MoU is to fortify bilateral relations and drive the advancement of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in both nations. This momentous occasion coincided with the prime minister’s working visit to the 10th Malaysia-Singapore Leader’s Retreat, amplifying its significance.

The MoU, formally endorsed by Rizal Nainy, CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia, and Lee Chuan Teck, CEO of Enterprise Singapore, signifies an escalated partnership between the two entities in fostering the growth of MSMEs in Malaysia and Singapore.

The collaboration’s focal points include facilitating training, digitalization, sustainability, and expanding market access for MSMEs in both countries. SME Corp. Malaysia has identified eight priority sectors for business matching, encompassing smart agriculture, electrical and electronic industries, aerospace, medical devices, halal industry, oil and gas, tourism, and biomass.

Rizal expressed his optimism about the MoU, stating, “With this MoU in place, we anticipate enhanced economic cooperation and prosperity for both Malaysia and Singapore. This collaboration will facilitate the development of MSMEs through the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and best practices.

“Both nations are keen to harness the potential of their respective MSME sectors, promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development. The MoU signing marks a significant milestone in the shared journey of our two nations.”

In 2022, Singapore emerged as Malaysia’s second-largest global trading partner, leading among ASEAN nations. The total trade volume between the two countries amounted to an impressive RM368.1 billion, with Malaysia maintaining a trade surplus.

Malaysian exports to Singapore reached RM232.56 billion, while imports stood at RM135.63 billion. This substantial trade surplus underscores the robust economic cooperation between the two nations.

The positive trend in Malaysia-Singapore trade persisted from January to August 2023, with the trade value reaching RM281.9 billion. This performance underscores the resilience and dynamism of the bilateral trade relationship, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to mutual growth and prosperity.

The presence of key figures during the ceremony, including Datuk Ewon Benedick, Malaysia’s minister of entrepreneur and cooperatives development and  Dato’ Dr. Azfar Mohamad Mustafar, high commissioner of Malaysia to the Republic of Singapore, further underscored the significance of this strategic partnership.


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