Mahathir Administration Allocates Funds For Tech Development Among SMEs

Mahathir Mohamad
Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad talks to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (not pictured) during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, April 25, 2019. (Photo: Parker Song/Pool via REUTERS)

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's government has allocated funding support for the growth and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. The goal is to help SMEs adopt technological advancements.

According to The Sun Daily, Mahathir has called on SMEs to pursue competitiveness in global settings through technological adoption. He said businesses should be welcome to research and development (R&D) initiatives.

Mahathir believes that the manufacturing sector under SME rule will contribute greatly to Malaysia's overall gross domestic product (GDP) growth if relevant technological initiatives are followed through. The SME manufacturing sector is expected to expand next year to 7.0 percent from this year's 5.8 percent growth rate.

SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) recently said the government has allocated RM13.02 billion as part of the SME Integrated Plan of Action that seeks to roll out 162 SME development initiatives across over 60 agencies and 17 ministries in Malaysia.

The government said in its SME plan for this year that it aims to help advance sectors that should help boost the Malaysian economy. These sectors include renewable energy, medical equipment, aerospace, rail industry, automotive, and the digital economy.

Last week, the CIMB Bank Bhd reaffirmed its commitment to helping SMEs achieve growth as part of national efforts in driving the Malaysian economy forward. According to The Star, the bank looks to provide SMEs at least RM15 billion within the next two years.

One of the bank's main goals is to help provide loans below RM500,000 to micro-enterprises that display potential but cannot pursue their targets due to inadequate funds or capital budget.

The bank said it is committed to upskilling its workers so it could better cater to SME growth in Malaysia whether through funding or daily operation needs. Company processes will be upgraded as well to go with industrial developments in the global realm.

Through the Mahathir administration's assistance and support from Malaysian banks, it was announced on Thursday that the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) is helping prepare 15 Malaysian SMEs for IPO filing in 2019.

The Malaysian Reserve reported that the majority of the small firms are under the food and beverage and technology industries. MED Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof noted that the 15 SMEs are being guided to ensure that they will meet Bursa Malaysia Bhd's IPO requirements.

Mohd Redzuan further explained that ever since MED was re-incorporated last year, it has focused mainly on enhancing SME activities and development. Part of the efforts is the introduction of the National Entrepreneurship Policy in July.

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