The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) hopes the government will provide allocation in Budget 2015 to reduce the burden of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the oil and gas (O&G) industry to enable them to participate in trade exhibition overseas.

Director, Trade and Services Promotion Division, Oil and Gas Chemical Section, Abu Bakar Koyakutty said such incentives would help the SMEs expand their business overseas, which subsequently would strengthen the country’s O&G industry.

He said among the assistances that could be given was to reduce the initial cost such as visits and participations in business exhibitions considering that the cost involved was not cheap.

“For example in Germany and the United States, the particpation costs are expensive. For SMEs, they may not have the ability and cannot afford to go on their own.

“Perhaps with government assistance through Matrade, we will be able to help the SMEs enter the more challenging markets,” he said in an interview recently.

He said among the potential markets that the SMEs could penetrate were Asean, Africa, Central Asia and Latin America.

Meanwhile, he said for new markets, the SMEs would be brought in stages in order to identify the opportunities offered by the country concerned beforehand.

“If the said market offers a lot of new opportunities, we will increase the participation of the SMEs,” he said.

Currently, about 200 to 300 SMEs in the O&G sector are registered with Matrade.

As part of its efforts to boost the capabilities of SMEs in the O&G sector, Matrade has allocated RM10,000 for each SME to help them introduce their products and services on the international stage.

At the tabling of Budget 2014, the government had outlined several projects that would be implemented by Petronas including Sabah Ammonia Urea (Samur) project in Sipitang; integrated oil and gas production development project in Kebabangan; regasification terminal project in Lahad Datu, Sabah; and Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development in Pengerang, Johor, which is the biggest investment in Malaysia.

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