THE focus on SMEs in recent years is bearing fruit as the sector’s contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 38.3% to RM521.7mil in 2018 from RM491.2mil a year before.
SME Corporation Malaysia said the growth in the sector’s contribution to the GDP outperformed the overall GDP growth of 4.7% in 2018, with the services and manufacturing sectors continuing to be the biggest contributors with a combined share of 82.4%.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the SME sector expanded by 6.2% last year, slightly above the long-term average growth of 6% recorded from 2001 to 2017.“Overall, the SMEs are on track to achieve the 41% contribution to GDP target by 2020 as envisaged under the Dasar Keusahawanan Nasional 2030 (DKN 2030), ” said SME Corp in a statement last week.
SME Corp noted that in 2018, value-added of SMEs in the services sector grew by 8.1%, its highest growth pace since 2014, compared with 7.2% in 2017. This was driven primarily by the wholesale and retail trade, food and beverages as well as the accommodation sub-sectors as consumer spending improved, particularly between June 1 and Aug 31, 2018 due to the zerorisation of the Goods and Services Tax.The growth was also supported by the finance, insurance, real estate and business services sub-sectors as well as the transportation, storage, information and communication sub-sectors.
In the manufacturing sector, the SME value-added expanded by 5.5%, led by non-metallic mineral products, basic metal and fabricated metal products as well as petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products.On exports, SME Corp said SMEs recorded a 3.4% growth in 2018, supported particularly by manufactured goods and chemicals products.In terms of value, SME exports increased to RM171.9bil in 2018 from RM166.2bil in 2017, while its share of overall exports remained at 17.3%.
“Key strategies will be formulated towards strengthening the export capacity and capability of SMEs, ” it added.SME Corp said eight broad measures were endorsed by the National Entrepreneur and SME Development Council, chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in April 2019 to further boost SME contribution to the economy.The measures include intensifying digitalisation, connectivity and cybersecurity among SMEs, enhancing SMEs integration in the supply chain, supporting more high growth SMEs with relevant incentives and boosting SMEs’ readiness and competitiveness to adopt innovative- disruptive-compelling technology and business model.
“These measures will serve as an added boost to help achieve the new SME targets under DKN 2030, which is 50% contribution to overall GDP and 30% to total exports by year 2030, ” it added. — Bernama
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