RM7.34 Billion Allocation To Develop SMEs

The government is committed to develop the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with an allocation of RM7.34 billion to implement 152 SME programmes this year.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the government was also committed to ensure that the implementation of High-Impact Programme under the SME Masterplan 2012-2020 would be implemented smoothly.

“This is one of the government’s efforts to ensure that the SMEs contribute between five and 5.5 per cent to the gross domestic product this year,” he said when launching Portal MalaysiaBiz here today.

Earlier, Najib chaired the 20th National SME Development Council meeting.

Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Chief Executive Officer of SME Corp, Datuk Hafsah Hashim.

The portal provides information on the registration and licences/permits required by the SMEs covering all economic sectors in Peninsular Malaysia.

It is also an effort to improve the ease of doing business under the SME Masterplan.

Najib said the private sector also provided various financing channels, like new equity crowd funding and investment account platform, offering alternative financing channels for SMEs.

He said a survey in the first quarter of this year by SME Corp showed that the SME businesses were still resilience, helped by the demand from the private sector and the tourism activities.

In addition, he said, the use of information and communications technology (ICT) by SMEs has also increased to about 90 per cent compared with 27 per cent in 2010.

Meanwhile, Najib outlined two approaches, increase labour productivity and inclusivity, to improve the position of SMEs in particular and the country in general.

“First, to increase the country’s labour productivity under the 11th Malaysia Plan of 3.7 per cent, SMEs needed to be more innovative in their businessess,” he said.

As an example, he said, an SME that has production plant must focussed on using machines that were efficient, have skilled manpower and use ICT.

Secondly, he said, government’s inclusive policies would have spill-over on the target groups such as the Bottom 40, through increasing their income levels.

Najib also urged SMEs to come forward to work with the government to ensure the success of the national SME development agenda.

He said in efforts to achieve high-income states, he wanted to see a more significant contributions from SMEs to the development of the national economy.

“In this way, the government can better identify the forms of assistance that can be given to the SMEs in addition to the current ones like grants, incentives, workshops and others,” he said.