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Change Approach Towards Innovation To Remain Competitive, Najib Tells SME Operators [12-02-2011]  
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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asked owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to change their approach on innovation to remain competitive.

He said the SME community was not adopting technology as rapidly as they should.

"You have to make technology adoption an integral part of your business strategy," he said at the Chinese New Year Open House and briefing on the Innovation Agency Act Malaysia organised by SMI Malaysia on Friday.

Najib said technology was the platform that "will allow you to see much farther than is possible with the naked eye."

In the business world, the SMEs have to inject technology into their products and services, he said.

Technology-based innovation was one sure way of obtaining a sustainable competitive edge, said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

"We've to differentiate ourselves by adopting technologies and in doing so, we've to cater to customers' needs. This will give us a competitive edge against low-cost producer countries taking away your business," he added.

Technology-based innovation was one sure way of obtaining a sustainable competitive edge, said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

"We've to differentiate ourselves by adopting technologies and in doing so, we've to cater to customers' needs. This will give us a competitive edge against low-cost producer countries taking away your business," he said.

Najib also said the business community have to accept that the global business landscape has changed and it was not going to revert to the original state.

"You must adapt and change to face the altered business environment. We cannot turn the clock back, we have to move forward. A wise man once said "we cannot control the winds, but we can adjust our sails," he said.

Najib said the government has established a special innovation unit (UNIK) under the Prime Minister's Department to address innovation needs among the business fraternity.

He said UNIK has started going to universities and research institutes to find technologies developed locally which can assist the business community in their businesses.

"UNIK will find the technologies or innovations and put them in plain business language so that you can see how you can benefit from them," he said.

Najib also said the government would always provide opportunities to the business community to create new wealth.

He said the new wealth can be maximised if ventures are based on technological innovations.

"This government is business-friendly, hence our attempt to assist you wherever possible. It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness," he said.

On funding, Najib said the government has made funds available to finance research and development projects and it also provided more grants to SMEs than other nations.

Some of the funding schemes were created some time ago and have outlived their usefulness, he said.

"It is time to have a strategic view and streamline these funding schemes to ensure that you have access to innovation funding throughout the various stages of your value chain.

"My government has already started this process and a more current system will be introduced in the next few months," he added.

Source:BERNAMA
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