GEORGE TOWN: SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) is hoping that the government, which allocated RM2 billion for the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Budget 2019, will earmark the same amount in the upcoming budget to empower these enterprises.
Its chairman, Datuk Seri Syed Hussein Al Habshee, said given the current world economic situation, SME Corp would not be expecting an increase in budget allocation.
The International Monetary Fund, which in July lowered its global growth forecast for 2019 to 3.2 per cent, was reported as saying today that it would cut the forecast further next week.
“Given our country’s debt under the current situation, I am not expecting an increase in the budget for SMEs. What I hope from the government is not to reduce the budget — not a single sen (being) reduced from what had been given in the last budget,“ he told reporters after opening the Malaysia SME Congress 2019 here today.
He added although Malaysia was expected to sustain an economic growth of 4.5 per cent this year, the slowdown in the global economy would affect the country.
Budget 2020 will be tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in Parliament tomorrow.
Syed Hussein said SMEs were the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, making up the majority or 98.5 per cent of business establishments in the country.
“SMEs are the driver of our economic growth, contributing significantly to the overall economy, including 38.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 17.3 per cent of exports in 2018,“ he said.
According to him, the government recognised the importance of SMEs and entrepreneur development with the launch of National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in July this year.
He said the policy targeted to boost SME contribution to 50 per cent of the national GDP, 90 per cent of jobs in the country and 30 per cent of exports while aiming to increase cooperatives turnover from RM40.3 billion to RM60 billion by 2030.
“Under the policy, the government aims to position Malaysia among the top 25 nations in the Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute’s (GEDI) Global Entrepreneurship Index,“ he said.
He added that currently, Malaysia ranked 58th among the 137 countries. — Bernama
Source: The Sun Daily