PUTRAJAYA, Dec 10 — Malaysia today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to promote cooperation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar signed on behalf of the Malaysian government, at his office in Kuala Lumpur.

IORA is an organisation comprising 22 countries namely Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Yemen.

“Cooperation under the IORA platform will open up opportunities for SMEs to foster collaboration and contribute 30 per cent to our total exports by 2030,” said the ministry (Medac) in a statement.


According to Medac, as of December this year, 15 of the 22 IORA member countries have signed the MoU.

It involves cooperation to build networks and cooperation among relevant institutions of member countries; encourage SME participation in business forums, trade expos, seminars and related platforms; and exchange of experience and information on SME development.

The collaboration will also facilitate market access through standards compliance, certification and technology improvements; facilitate aspects of capacity building and entrepreneurial skills programmes; encourage synergy in the association’s business forums; and conduct SME-related analysis studies in the Indian Ocean region.


Medac said the MoU would strengthen relations among IORA member countries in facing the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is committed to implementing the agreement to ensure that the government achieves its aspiration to transform Malaysia as a successful entrepreneurial nation by 2030.

“In line with the aspirations of the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030, the pulse of the country’s SMEs is very important to create a holistic and conducive entrepreneurial ecosystem to support Malaysia’s inclusive, balanced and sustainable socio-economic development agenda,” it said. — Bernama