Efforts for Johor SMEs to tap into Iskandar and Pengerang projects

PUTRAJAYA: The Johor Entrepreneurial Development Centre (EDC) is spearheading efforts to spur the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by exploiting the spillover of the Iskandar and Pengerang development.

Johor Education, Information Entrepreneurial Development and Cooperative Committee chairman Md Jais Sarday said EDC would formulate a five-year strategic plan to assist SMEs in seizing opportunities.

“The plan is expected to be unveiled under the Johor Strategic Growth Plan in the first quarter of next year,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop organised by EDC and SME Corp Malaysia.

Jais said although Johor had the third biggest number of SME companies after Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, their contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) was merely 8.4% compared with that of Selangor (28.3%) and Kuala Lumpur (29.1%).

He attributed the low percentage to Johor SMEs’ concentration in the services and agriculture sectors, apart from financing constraints.

SME Corp Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Hafsah Hashim said GDP growth of SMEs in Johor (2010-2013) at 6.9% exceeded the national GDP growth of 5.7%, reflecting Johor’s vibrant economy that had spurred the SMEs growth.

“In general, the informal business sector in Malaysia is high at 31%, particularly online businesses,” she said, adding that some entrepreneurs were reluctant to register their businesses, thus they could not have access to government funding. — Bernama

Iskandar , Pengerang