Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the facility, which is also known as the GO Halal Fund, will assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a more organised and structured manner by focusing on capacity building.
"About 300 local SMEs will benefit from the fund which focuses on encouraging more Bumiputera-owned SMEs to participate in the Halal industry," he said in his speech during the virtual memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Bank Islam and HDC today.
Mohamed Azmin said the programme would help SMEs in strengthening their businesses amidst the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged other Islamic financial institutions to collaborate with the HDC to offer similar programmes.
As of December 2020, 6,727 SME companies out of 200,000 companies that are directly involved in the Halal industry have obtained their Halal certification.
"Of the total, only 1,507 of the SME companies are involved in export activities, which shows that the growth potential for the nation’s Halal industry is still huge,” he said.
Last year, the country’s Halal exports reached RM31 billion, surpassing the initial target of RM19 billion set in the first Halal Industry Masterplan.
Meanwhile, Bank Islam chief executive officer (CEO) Mohd Muazzam Mohammed said in addition to financial assistance, the GO Halal SME Financing Programme also aims to provide training and halal advisory services.
He added that the fund would also finance Halal certification process, Takaful contributions, working capital requirements as well as business capital expenditure.
It provides financing from RM100,000 to RM1 million for sole proprietorship and partnership businesses, and from RM100,000 up to RM3 million for Sdn Bhd businesses with a repayment period of seven years.
"Improvements will be made from time to time to further strengthen the programme’s offerings, In shaa Allah (God willing)," he said.
Mohd Muazzam said that entrepreneurs need not provide any collateral to obtain financing under the programme, however, they must be HDC members with a business that has been active for a minimum of two years and recorded a profit in at least one out of the past two years.
Meanwhile, HDC CEO Hairol Ariffin Sahari said the collaboration with Bank Islam also saw the integration between HDC’s Halal Integrated Platform (HIP) and Bank Islam’s SMEXpert platform.
"One of the main criteria to obtain financing under the GO Halal Fund is that the SME would have to sign up to become a member of HIP and commit to completing the HDC programme modules.
"To-date, there are close to 2,200 companies registered on the HIP platform, and they can already submit their application for the fund,” he said.
HIP members can apply for the GO Halal fund starting July 1, 2021, by registering on HIP’s microsite at https://hip.hdcglobal.com. - Bernama