The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) has set its sight on African countries next year in the quest to help bumiputra entrepreneurs widen their market reach globally. President Datuk Syed Ali Alattas said bumiputra entrepreneurs should take advantage of Sudan’s free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union by investing in the African country.
“Sudan is exporting vegetables to Europe during the latter’s wintertime as some vegetables do not grow during the season. So, we can venture into Sudan and export our goods via their FTA with Europe and make forays into the European market via Sudan,” he told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur clearance.
Syed Ali said that the ambassadors of several African countries were in talks with DPMM with the hope of attracting more investment from Malaysia, as well enhancing trade ties. He called on companies involved in the hospitality, information communication technology, as well as food and agriculture industries to venture abroad, including in African countries.
Bumiputera or Bumiputra is a Malaysian term to describe the Malay race and other indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia, and used particularly in Malaysia. The term comes from the Sanskrit word bhumiputra which can be translated literally as “son of the land” or “son of the soil” (bhumi= earth or land, putra=son).
In the 1970s, the Malaysian government implemented policies which designed to favour bumiputras (including affirmative action in public education) to create opportunities. These policies have succeeded in creating a significant urban Malay and middle class as well.