Timber Expo Attracts More Exhibitors


A total of 280 exhibitors have taken up 494 exhibition booths at the 3rd Sarawak Timber & Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Expo being held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) from May 18 to 21.

This represents an increase of 48 percent in the number of exhibitors as compared to 2015.

The biennial expo was jointly organised by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) and the Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Ministry in conjunction with the state-level SME Week 2017.

The event was declared open by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg by beating drums made of bamboo. He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also the Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources and Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development.

Among others who witnessed the opening ceremony were state dignitaries, government officials and VIP guests from timber-based industries. The expo this year involves 21 local furniture companies and 150 local SMEs engaged in food and beverages and craftworks. Furniture companies from foreign countries like Vietnam, Korea, China, India and Indonesia also took part in the exhibition.

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SIRIM launches Technology and Market Radar for SMEs


Scientific and Industrial Research Institute (SIRIM) has launched the Technology and Market Radar (TMR), a business tool to assist local SMEs to identify relevant technology and market trends to enable them to make strategic decisions on technology investment.

TMR is designed to be accessed by SMEs, Ministries and Government Agencies to retrieve relevant and strategic information on technology and business trends complemented with an analysis of opportunities and challenges.

The TMR was launched by President and Group Chief Executive of SIRIM, Dr Ahmad Fadzil Mohamad Hani with more than 100 participants attending the event, comprising local SMEs, industries and government officials related to the Malaysian SME activities.

Based on Technology Audits conducted on more than 300 SMEs in 2015 and 2016 by SIRIM under the SIRIM Fraunhofer Programme, the lack of data on market and technology trend was identified as one of the weaknesses affecting SMEs business growth.

Sales Strategies For SMEs

Getting into business is easy, selling is difficult. Business is about generating revenues and cash flows. If you can sell, you cannot be in business.


In business, only the right story wins the sales deal. In today’s fast-paced business environment, the best financial results are obtained when a good marketing strategy meets an equally efficient sales strategy.

Marketing and sales teams must work together. The alignment of marketing strategies to sales efforts is key for organisational success.
Today we engage in a conversation to help small business grow their sales and marketing capability.

Have a clear marketing strategy

The primary role of marketing is to create a support structure on which the sales effort will be built. Without a marketing plan, it will be difficult to generate sales. Marketing strategy deals with how your business intends to generate sales leads.

Your marketing strategy must deal with issues of customer relationship management, and the marketing strategy must be simple, effective and easily implementable. Here are a few tools one can use as marketing tools.

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Tips To Save Your Business During Market Crisi


Running a small business is a huge challenge as compared to the larger companies. The success and failure of the firms have an impact on their strategic clarity. However, in order to learn what helps you gain success in your business, there are certain indispensable factors one should infer and imply. If you have an established company and plan to take it a step further beyond its current market status, then the following points will help you understand how to keep a track on your business during business crisis.

Expansion in different location

Expansion of a business can be done considering spreading of your services to new areas. However, resource planning and investment are one of the major concerns here. Thus, always ensure to have a comprehensive business plan before moving to a new location. Keep a track on the location’s latest economic development trends. Moreover, your team of management and administrative staff should be the ones having exceptional knowledge in the field of your services.

Also, ensure that you keep earning the bottom line profits consistently that you have endured gaining in the past years. This minimizes our risk of expansion as consistent profits as earlier are assured. The location you choose should be the market area where there is a huge demand for the services similar to what you offer. Added, always keep track of how you would be obtaining finance to establish your business to a new location. Try to go for a financial loan that has a minimum documentary requirement and offers extended repayment period for business expansion.

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GST likely to boost SME sector

The macroeconomic impact of introduction of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) could turn out to be significant in the years ahead, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently said in its report titled 'State Finances: A study of Budgets of 2016-17'.


It said that GST implementation is likely to boost the small and medium scale enterprises (SME) sector by (i) improving their ease of doing business; (ii) lowering logistical costs; (iii) extending outreach beyond state borders; and (iv) aiding SMEs dealing in sales and services. 

Furthermore, economic activity would also benefit from exports becoming more competitive as the GST regime will eliminate the cascading impact of taxes, it added.

The report clarifies that besides giving a major boost to tax revenue, the larger impact on the fiscal health would be from reduction in the administrative compliance cost. GST is likely to be supportive of fiscal consolidation without compromising capital expenditure. 

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Laghu Udyog Expo 2017


Laghu Udyog Expo-2017, a two-day national-level vendor development programme-cum-industrial exhibition and B2B meeting, organised by the Cochin Shipyard Ltd, began at Marine Drive.

Industries Minister A C Moideen inaugurated the expo being conducted with the support of the Department of Industry and Commerce, Government of Kerala, and MSME Development Institute, Thrissur.

The programme is aimed at bringing MSMEs capable of delivering high-quality products of international standards at competitive price and time into the mainstream.

Tips For Small Businesses To File Tax Under GST


The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector in India has been the primary growth driver in the country for decades. According to the SME Chamber of India, the sector contributes 45 percent of the industrial output, 40% of exports, employs 42 million Indians, and creates an average of one million jobs every year while producing more than 8000 quality products for the Indian and the international markets. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the implementation of GST will be a big game changer for the sector. GST, in the long term, will bring about many long-lasting changes in the economy such as reduced prices and cost of operations. But the important question now is if the Indian SMEs are prepared for the transition to a new tax regime - a ‘behaviour change’ that will later pave  the way we do business as a country.

Expert estimates say that only about 50 percent of the sector is technologically capable of complying with GST rules. Manpower is also a huge concern for the sector, as many businesses do not have dedicated personnel to follow up with vendors and suppliers and ensure timely payments or invoicing. These are some of the teething troubles that the sector will have to face as the new tax regime comes into force. Knowing these problems in detail makes it easier to recommend solutions, and below you will find some expert tips that can help small businesses to get GST-ready before the tax universe in India changes its colours:

Tip 1: Calculate your ITC like your life depends on it

And truth be told, it actually does! It is very important for SMEs to understand the legislations around Input Tax Credit (ITC). The availability of ITC could determine the cost of compliance and the competitiveness of a business in the GST era. The law allows for ITC to be claimed on expenses incurred for ‘furthering of business’ such as marketing expenses, transport costs etc. SMEs can claim ITC across a bucket of expenses by being familiar with the law and thus reduce operation costs and increasing their margins. Besides ITC can impact your working capital, this makes it all the more relevant to make sure there is good compliance.