KUALA LUMPUR: There are many types of grants and soft loans available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop and grow their businesses, said Deputy Finance Minister and MCA vice-president Datuk Kong Cho Ha.
“SMEs have many (kinds of) access to funding,” Kong told reporters at the opening of the MCA ICT Resource Centre’s (MIRC) 4th MIRC Annual Funding & Financing Forum here yesterday.
The forum is an initiative under the MIRC’s 4-year SME Development Blueprint. Kong said the global economic downturn had resulted in reduced demand for domestic goods and services.
“SMEs are struggling due to weak demand for goods and services,” he said, adding that the sector most affected was manufacturing. Asked what other measures had been taken to encourage greater lending, Kong said the Government had backed financial institutions that lent to SMEs.
“We’ve become guarantors to about 80% of the loan amount to SMEs, while the financial institutions’ exposure is 20%,” he noted.
MIRC chief executive Andrew Wong said the forum highlighted how important funding was to SMEs, especially in times of crisis.
“MIRC is trying to provide a platform for SMEs to have access to more information and gain awareness on grants and loan applications,” he said.
Kong said the Government’s recent mini-budget highlighted the importance of SMEs in the economic development of Malaysia, as substantial funds in the budget were apportioned to help SMEs during this global economic downturn.
THE RM60bil second economic stimulus package announced on March 10 contained two government guarantee schemes to encourage bank lending, especially to SMEs.
The two schemes are the RM5bil Working Capital Guarantee Scheme (WCGS) and the RM5bil Industry Restructuring Loan Guarantee Fund Scheme (IRLGFS).
Financial institutions and organisations present at the forum to share their latest updates on grants and financing loans were Bank Negara, EON Bank Bhd, Exim Bank Bhd, Small & Medium Industry Development Corp, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd and Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC).
MIRC’s next funding project will be the Micro Financing Roadshow targeted for April 15 in Ipoh, April 17 (Penang) and April 30 (Johor Baru). MIRC can be contacted at 03-21611618 for further details on the roadshows.
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