KUALA LUMPUR: SME Corporation Malaysia hopes the upcoming 2017 Budget will introduce a more cohesive and structured approach to spur the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), its Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Hafsah Hashim said.
She said SME Corp had already forwarded a proposal seeking the Finance Ministry to look into the policy, as well as fiscal and non-fiscal tax incentives, to accelerate the growth of SMEs. “We hope for an SME-friendly budget and we hope they will consider our requests because small businesses are the driver of economic growth and the future engine of growth,” she told a press conference after the “Malaysian SMEs: Across Borders” Seminar here today.
The half-day seminar, jointly organised by SME Corp, logistics company UPS and the US-ASEAN Business Council, is aimed at equipping SMEs with knowledge on free-trade agreements that Malaysia have entered into to facilitate participation of local companies in regional and global value chains. Hafsah said while SMEs contributed significantly to the country’s gross domestic product (36 per cent), their contribution to the country’s exports were only 17 per cent.
This area presents a huge opportunity, given that local SMEs had widely accepted technology in doing business, for which 92 per cent of them were already utilising technology compared with only 9.0 per cent in 2010. “Given the changing business landscape, SME Corp is also working together with online shopping mall 11street to train ‘netpreneurs’ in online business. “It is important for SMEs to ‘appear’ online because this encourages internationalisation,” she added. Also present were International Trade and Industry Ministry Secretary-General Datuk J. Jayasiri, UPS Asia-Pacific Public Affairs Vice-President Shiumei Lin and US-ASEAN Business Council Chief Representative Ezani Mansor. -- BERNAMA