YAYASAN Budi Penyayang Malaysia (Penyayang) has stepped up its efforts to make the Asean Lifestyle Week (ALW) 2019 an event to look forward to.

ALW will be held from Sept 13 to 15 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to showcase the best that Asean small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have to offer in the lifestyle sector, against the backdrop of Asean’s economic and cultural diversity.

This presents an opportunity for Malaysia to lead an untapped segment across the region, making Kuala Lumpur a one-stop centre for buyers and sellers from across the world to meet and access lifestyle products from the region.

In that regard, Penyayang signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with four strategic partners, namely SME Association of Malaysia (SME Malaysia), Global Organisation of People Of Indian Origin Malaysia (Gopio), Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN) and Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) at Wisma Penyayang in Seri Kembangan.

Penyayang chief executive officer Datuk Leela Mohd Ali said the four partners represented a group of people, not just individuals, and it was good to identify those groups to promote the exhibition through them.

Earlier this year, Association of Bumiputera Women in Business and Profession Malaysia (Peniagawati) was the first organisation to sign an MoU as a strategic partner for ALW2019.

“It is more meaningful to have the whole community with us,” said Leela.

ALW2019 is themed “Accessing Market Beyond Borders”.

Penyayang chairman Nori Abdullah said, “One of the hopes we have for ALW is for our Malaysian brands to be featured and have further access to markets around our region.”

The exhibition will be held in conjunction with the prestigious Piala Seri Endon batik design competition.

Nori said batik had always carried Malaysia’s national identity as a national textile.

“We are hoping that successful brands and companies will be interested to take it to the next level,” she added.

SME Malaysia national deputy secretary-general Alan Tan Fuu Soon said SME Malaysia always encouraged export of Malaysian products and brands, and the first step was to focus on the Asean region.

“We are honoured to be a part of ALW and will give full support to Penyayang,” said Tan.