KOTA KINABALU: Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) worth about RM500 million were signed at the 6th MARA OISCA International Business Forum (MOIBF2017) which ended on Wednesday.
MARA chairman Dato Dr Awang Adek bin Hussin said that the business generation from the forum this year exceeded that of the last forum which amounted to RM200 million.
Speaking to the media after the MOIBF2017 dinner held at the Magellan Sutera Resort on Wednesday, Dr Awang Adek shared that this year’s forum had been a great success with over 1,000 people attending the two-day event.
The forum also received good response from foreign entrepreneurs, which numbered at 65 people, he said.
And the business matching session which took place on Nov 14 (the first day of the business forum) went on from morning to night.
“The response to the business matching has also been quite successful. I am confi dent that in the future the response would be even better,” he said.
During the one-day business matching between Malaysian and Japanese entrepreneurs and on Nov 14, he said a total of RM13 million was generated.
He said that the focus in this year’s forum was the export of halal food to Japan in conjunction with the 2020 Olympic Games which will be held in the country and the demand for halal food from participants and patrons who would be coming to the event.
“This is something suitable for our country since our country is known to have the environment and ecosystem for a halal hub,” he said.
He also said that the forum could help promote Sabah further in its tourism industry.
“Sabah has the diversity in its culture and environment. The show today was also mesmerising and we can see our Japanese friends were interested with the cultural show. This will make Kota Kinabalu and Sabah become more attractive as the centre of attraction,” he said.
During the MOIBF2017 dinner, three people were awarded with the MARAOISCA Leadership Award.
They were MARA’s former director general Dato’ Ridzuan Abdul Halim, OISCA International Vice President Dato Seri Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad and OISCA International President Datuk Dr Yoshiko Nakano.
Ridzuan who was awarded with the Inspirational Award, shared that the expectation from entrepreneurs was rising, so both MARA and OISCA must strengthen and further intensify their cooperation.
He also said that small and medium industries/ enterprises were often a country’s economic pillar.
“This is occurring everywhere – in Japan, China, Europe, America and Taiwan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Transformational Leadership Award recipient Dato’ Seri Dr Ibrahim bin Ahmad expressed his gratitude to MARA and OISCA for the award.
He said that he hoped MARA and OISCA will be the platform for the development of entrepreneurs and the development of human capital in Malaysia.
Earlier Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman said in his speech delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin that the collaboration between MARA and OISCA has brought to reality the objective of increasing technical capabilities and entrepreneurship among youth and Malaysian entrepreneurs.
In these 50 years, MARA has sent over 1,000 Malaysian youths to experience industrial training in Japan and over 3,000 youths were trained in Malaysia, he said.
Musa said that some 70 per cent of trainees had been employed in the private sector including in Japanese companies based in Malaysia while the rest had either joined the civil service or started up their own business.
He also said that the Sabah government fully supports the MARA-OISCA objectives to strengthen cooperation between the two countries while also promoting understanding and friendship in the Asia region.
“Today, we are celebrating the 50 years of MARAOISCA International with the theme Celebrating Five Decades of Golden Journey,” he said.
He said that OISCA in Malaysia began in 1967 when it forged a bilateral cooperation with MARA through internship programmes and advanced skill training.
“As this cooperation grew, the OISCA International Malaysian Chapter (OIMC) was established in 1991 in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
According to Musa, this had paved the way for the formulation of human resource development programmes for Malaysian youths who graduated from MARA Vocational Institutes and who were sent for industrial training and internship programmes in Japan.
Such training allowed for the development of skills in leadership, discipline and work ethics towards producing a strong and responsible generation, said Musa.
He also said that the OISCA Advanced Skill Training programme had benefited Bumiputera trainees and opened doors to business networking in various fields.
At the same time, Musa also said that learning from history, society’s greatest achievements had been driven by innovation.
“The present brings us three different challenges; first, the volatile global economic climate; second, increased globalisation which brings us a wide range of new opportunities; and third, the rapid change in an era driven by information and communication technology.”
He said that in order to shape the future for the next generations, “we have to carefully plan and innovate”.
“We need leaders for a knowledge-based economy to globally integrate in the economy and ensure the fair distribution of growth and wealth,” he said.
“And to ensure the economy in Sabah continues to strengthen, MARA has played its role by creating various forms of facilities such as entrepreneurial training, business financing as well as business premises to develop potential entrepreneurs,” he said.
He added that MARA had developed more than 18,000 Sabah entrepreneurs with a total allocation of over RM1 billion through entrepreneurial training and business financing.
At the same time, Sabah’s economic sustainability remains strong, he said.
He added that Sabah has educational institutes such as the MARA Junior Science College (MRSM), MARA Technical College and MARA PolyTech College.
“The Ranau MRSM that I launched last month will be the fifth of its kind in Sabah. MARA also provides skill opportunities at GIATMARA in 28 centres statewide,” said Musa.