PETALING JAYA: Malaysia and Singapore had signed a “side letter” to improve the provisions of the Malaysia-Singapore Business Development Fund (MSBDF) agreement for third countries.
In a statement, investment, trade and industry minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said the MSBDF was signed in 2004 to strengthen cooperation between the private sectors of Malaysia and Singapore by exploring business and investment opportunities in third countries.
Tengku Zafrul said the signing of the letter was done together with Singapore’s trade and industry minister Gan Kim Yong, and witnessed by the prime ministers of both countries Anwar Ibrahim and Lee Hsien Loong.
“After almost 20 years since the signing of the agreement, during the First Annual Ministerial Dialogue (1st AMD) session held between the ministry of investment, trade and industry and ministry of trade and industry Singapore on June 14, 2023, in Kuala Lumpur, I along with Kim Yong agreed to expand the scope of the fund’s financing to include projects implemented in Malaysia and Singapore,” Tengku Zafrul said.
He explained that this improvement will increase the potential of economic cooperation between the two countries, especially in promoting cross-border trade.
“In addition, it will also encourage the private sector from both countries to explore wider market opportunities in industries related to the digital economy and the green economy,” he added.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also exchanged between SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia and Singapore.
In a separate statement, SME Corp said this collaboration will encompass the exchange of policies, expertise and information, all directed toward enhancing the competitiveness of micro-enterprises and SMEs in both Singapore and Malaysia on a global scale.
“Additionally, it will encourage entrepreneurship development and promote reciprocal business exchanges between the two nations, underpinning a foundation of shared benefits and mutual reciprocity,” it said.
Meanwhile, a joint statement from both countries’ leaders said the update of the MSBDF will provide funding support for Singapore and Malaysia enterprises to jointly pursue opportunities in third countries.
In addition, both countries’ enterprises are able to conduct joint pilots in each other’s country, especially in emerging areas such as green economy and digital economy.
The leaders also took note of the MoU’s collaboration and development of Malaysia and Singapore SMEs signed between ESG and SME Corp.
The leaders also warmly welcomed the progress made on the MoU on personal data protection, cybersecurity and digital economy signed in January 2023.
These instruments demonstrate the confidence of both countries in each other’s economy and the commitment to strengthening bilateral economic links.