KUCHING: The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) plans to identify Sarawak entrepreneurs who have the potential to export their products.
Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said this would help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the state enter the international market.
“Matrade Sarawak, together with the state government, will identify these entrepreneurs who we feel are able to promote their products to other countries.
“Going forward, we’ve got a big promotion programme in Shanghai involving trade and investment, tourism, education and healthcare.
“We will consult the Sarawak government to identify a number of SMEs which can come along on this trade and investment mission in early November,” he told reporters after a dialogue with local SMEs here yesterday.
Mustapa also said his ministry would continue to enhance its cooperation with the state government to develop SMEs in the state.
For instance, he said Miti was willing to work with the state government to introduce a special SME award in Sarawak.
He also suggested holding an open day for the agencies under Miti to provide information to SMEs about assistance schemes and incentives available.
On the proposed SME Bill, Mustapa said it was likely be tabled in Parliament by the middle of next year as consultations are ongoing.
“It is still a work in progress. We’ve held 25 consultations throughout the country, including three in Sarawak, and will do more if needed,” he said.
Mustapa added that the Bill was important to show the ministry’s commitment to SME development, including providing a framework on assistance and institutional structures.
Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, Trade and Investment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state government would give its cooperation and input to the SME Bill.
“This Bill will ensure that SMEs will be the backbone of the economy and will continue to develop and grow,” he said.
In his speech earlier, Awang Tengah urged the Federal Government to provide more incentives and special consideration to SMEs in Sarawak to help them catch up with their counterparts in the rest of the country.
He said the cost of business in Sarawak was higher compared to peninsular Malaysia while its domestic market was small, with a population of only 2.7 million.
“More incentives should be given to Sarawak SMEs such as funds to set up collection centres and for the marketing of products. “We also need more funds to establish industrial estates, especially in rural areas,” he said.
In addition, Awang Tengah added the government should consider giving incentives to SMEs which could increase their productivity through innovation.
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