The Jakarta Post
Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia kicks off Asean Lifestyle Week (ALW) 2019 on Sept. 13 at KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (JP/Muthi Kautsar)
On the long weekend approaching Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia kicked off Asean Lifestyle Week (ALW) 2019 on Sept. 13.
ALW, inaugurated in 2018, is being held at Hall 4 of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (KLCC), showcasing Asean small and medium enterprises (SMEs) focusing on lifestyle products and services.
Nori Abdullah, chairman of Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia, said in her opening speech that trade events such as the ALW were important platforms for local enterprises in the region to establish a presence on the international stage.
She added that ALW was closely associated with the promotion and preservation of Nyonya Kebaya and Malaysia batik as part of Malaysia’s cultural heritage.
“Malaysian batik is not just a cultural heritage […], but also a source of livelihood for many of Malaysia’s craft producers from the rural areas,” said Abdullah.
To multiple the impact of the event, ALW is also working with the Entrepreneur Development Ministry of Malaysia, hosting around 80 exhibitors presenting craft, fashion, souvenir and gift products, as well as travel and tour and technology providers.
Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan bin MD Yusof ,who officiated the event, said the event was aptly themed “accessing markets beyond borders”.
“Going global with your business opens new doors and brings countless opportunities, but launching a brand across borders is no small feat. It pays to prepare,” said the minister.
He also said the culture of entrepreneurship had a complex nature, not to mention with the threat of both natural resource depletion and increased competition.
“It is imperative that we discover new ways to compete,” said the minister, adding that the ministry had attempted to fashion a policy that allowed for more coherent and inclusive coordination and implementation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Furthermore, the government is supporting and nudging SMEs toward digital transformation, for instance by launching a new guarantee scheme worth RM2 billion to help Malaysia SMEs prepare for Industry 4.0.
Meanwhile, for SMEs that fulfil United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), an RM1 billion Sustainable Development Financing Fund and RM1 billion Tourism Infrastructure Fund could be taken advantage of.
Following the opening ceremony that was enlivened by a dance performance by Sarawak Tourism Board and pop music staged by Japan’s Ballistik Boyz, the minister toured the exhibition hall.
Exhibitors include Cassandra Havelock, which offers natural personal care products made of indigenous ingredients from Borneo, Sarawak Craft Council, which showcases intricate, handcrafted beaded accessories and Bayan Dikari, which features jewelry for weddings, Nyonya Kebaya and peranakan-style batik.
There are also a number of other exhibitors that may appeal to visitors offering such products from Mu Sang King durian to batik from the states of Kelantan and Terengganu.
ALW runs until Sept. 15.
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