Mustapa: Provide more support to SMEs

KUALA LUMPUR: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be given more support, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“One of the main issues is financing support and we hope to raise it during the forthcoming budget,” he told reporters after a Miti dialogue with four national associations yesterday.

The associations were Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI), Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce in Malaysia (ACCCIM) and Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

The four associations raised issues related to financing for SMEs as well as foreign worker issues and utility tariffs at the dialogue.

ACCCIM in particular raised the issue of the limitations faced by SMEs when seeking financing at SME Bank.

ACCCIM recommended that SME Bank lower or relax its minimum collateral requirement of 40% equivalent to the financing amount, as most SMEs were not able to fulfil that.

It also proposed that the Government help qualified SMEs secure overseas projects or contract financing facility, and the overseas investment insurance for political risks at a lower cost from Exim Bank by providing some form of guarantee cover.

Meanwhile, the FMM requested for an increase in allocation for the market development grant scheme which was a proven tool that had helped to expand and strengthen market access for products and services of local SMEs.

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