It has been reported that unemployment in Malaysia has dropped by more than 90,000 in in June alone, following the reopening of the nation’s economy in May. In order for this trend to continue, more SMEs will need to be provided with support in which to restart their business activities, said Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
He reported that his ministry, in collaboration with the Malaysia Externa Trade Development Corporation, SIRIM, and the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics, and IoT Institute, is ready to provide more assistance to industries such as food & beverage, animal husbandry, and automotive.
“We need these sectors to resume their business activities because we want the nation’s economy to recover by next year, and right now, we are on the right track towards ensuring that the target can be achieved,” said the minister.
SME Bank has also been involved in providing more immediate financial support for SMEs in Malaysia. This is being done in the form of the SME Relief Programme (SRP) for businesses in the tourism, transportation, education, and health sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SRP programme, said Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, will benefit 3,000 of SME Bank’s customers with total financing worth more than RM1.8 billion (US$238 million).
“At the same time, other SME entrepreneurs are also encouraged to discuss with their respective financing providers for post-moratorium assistance,” added minister Jaafar.
A loan moratorium granted to SMEs in Malaysia will expire on September 30, leading to concerns that many SMEs will fail to stay in business if more help is not provided to them.
Meanwhile, minister Mohamed Azmin said in a media statement that MITI and its agencies would continue to ensure dynamic growth for Bumiputera SMEs in Sabah involved in the manufacturing sector. He said MITI would assist in providing facilitation in the form of capacity building, tax reduction incentive for automation, as well as business matching programme with foreign importers.