Government targets higher contribution from SMEs

Nurturing entrepreneurship: Redzuan signing a plaque to mark the opening of the Student Entrepreneurs Convention. With him are Abdullah and Prof Faridah. — Bernama

ALOR GAJAH: The Entrepreneur Development Ministry plans to boost the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) to 42% next year from the current 37%.

Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof said although the target was not very encouraging, the ministry is confident that it could be achieved if SME entrepreneurs were to start preparing themselves, especially in facing the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

He said the number of bumiputra entrepreneurs in the SME sector has increased, thereby boosting the nation’s economic growth.

“If SMEs in other countries such Europe could contribute more than 50% to the GDP of their countries, we are confident that the target to increase our SME contribution by 5% is realistic and achievable,” he said after officiating at the Student Entrepreneurs Convention.

Themed “Paradigm Transition of Student Prodigies”, the two-day event was organised by University College Agroscience Malaysia (UCAM) with the aim of equipping graduates with entrepreneurial skills.

Present were Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (management and corporate) deputy director-general Abdullah Zainal and UCAM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Faridah Hanam Mohd Rashid.

On the 2019 Budget, Redzuan, who is also Alor Gajah MP, said he hoped the budget, which would be tabled in November, would take into account allocations for SME entrepreneurs in order to motivate them to expand their business.

“Let’s not mention the amount needed but let’s maintain the facilities and allocations as provided by the previous government, but improve the management system so that they (can be disbursed) more efficiently and effectively.

“If a local entrepreneur is capable of supplying drone equipment to more than 20 countries, that’s good enough as the technology created enables him to succeed as an entrepreneur, thus boosting the nation’s economic growth,” he said. — Bernama

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