Greetings and welcome to Malaysia for the SME-Entrepreneurship Global Conference 2006. The conference is one of the premier events of the year and aims to bring together practitioners, entrepreneurs and academics from around the globe to discuss important issues on SME-Entrepreneurship development.

Small and medium-size businesses play vital roles in every economy. In Malaysia, they constitute over 93% of total establishments in the manufacturing and service sectors. They contribute significantly to the volume of output of goods and services, create employment, stimulate competition in the economy, and feed large organisations with raw materials, semi-finished goods and parts. It is crucial to better understand this very important economic sector (especially in the light of the new global competition) and to develop strategies that would assist them to remain resilient, competitive and sustainable. These are some of the issues that would be discussed during these two days.

Our conference programme is designed with the aim of helping you make the most of the growing SME opportunities across the globe and the Asia-Pacific region in particular. You would find the lively dialogue and debate very exhilarating. With delegates from some 30 countries across the globe, this conference promises to be a real meeting of minds and exchange of ideas and good practices in the area of SME.

We would like to thank YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Minister of Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperative for officiating this event. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all conference participants, keynote speakers, forum participants from the high commissions, industry and government sectors. Not forgetting all those who have worked tirelessly to make this conference possible – our colleagues in Melbourne as well as our staff in Malaysia, all whom had contributed significant time and effort to make this conference a success. Last but certainly not the least; we would like to thank our sponsor MDeC for the strong support. Your’s is clearly a genuine passion for the development of the SME sector.

Professor Nelson Oly Ndubisi PhD, GCSMES Global