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Malaysian companies ready for business in Africa: UN development agency

Malaysian companies ready for business in Africa: UN development agency

Malaysian business executives attending a workshop on Sub-Saharan Africa have expressed their interest in doing business on the continent, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which sponsored the event.

The workshop, which was held last week in Kuala Lumpur, was one of 10 being held in Asia and Africa to prepare for the Second Africa-Asia Business Forum in Durban in July, where companies will be able to forge new partnerships between the continents. Some of the participants in last week's workshop will be selected to go to Durban.

"Most of the business executives had a serious interest in business opportunities in Africa," said Egbert Semple, UNDP Senior Programme Advisor on technical cooperation among developing countries. "They even indicated that they would probably go to Africa on their own even if they were not selected for the Africa-Asia Business Forum."

At the workshop's business clinic, experts held discussions with participants to gain a clear understanding of the companies' structures, main product lines, financial strengths, leadership capabilities and objectives for attending the Durban forum. Among major Malaysian businesses represented at the event were DRB Hicom, BT Engineering, Spritzer Bhd, Tai Kwong-Yokohama Bhd and Takaso Sdn Bhd.

"UNDP, as the United Nation's main agency involved with development and poverty alleviation, is very proud to be associated with this effort to develop cooperation between two of the great 'development-regions' of the world," said Phillips Young, the agency's top official in Malaysia. "It is now recognized that it is only through increased business and trade that the developing countries of the world will be able to lift their populations out of poverty."

The workshop was organized by UNDP's Special Unit for Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries and the Malaysian South-South Corporation (Masscorp), in collaboration with the UNDP country office in Malaysia and the World Bank.