According to Malaysia’s Finance Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, the government is committed to continue the efforts to help the country’s SMEs on their path to recovery amidst the post-COVID era in the upcoming Budget 2021.
Building upon the foundations laid by the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) and other economic recovery initiatives, Zafrul said that the support for SMEs would be done via continued support for digitalisation and automation.
The government will also facilitate the SMEs to accelerate the adoption of digitalisation under Budget 2021 that will be tabled the Parliament on 6 November, he added.
“Records have shown that crucial technological and digital migration have yet to hit critical mass among SMEs. We need to raise awareness that with digitalisation, SMEs can have a bigger market reach and go regional, and how our financial institutions can support them in this process,” he said.
Zafrul also mentioned that under the Budget 2021, the government would put more focus on helping SMEs develop a greater resilience and sustainable strategy. This is because most SMEs in Malaysia have adopted high-growth strategies in making decisions; thus leaving little room for them to respond effectively to economic shocks.
“Businesses need to balance out their priorities to help themselves remain afloat regardless of the changing operating landscape, and the government is looking at how sustainability can be the foundational premise on which SME-centric measures are crafted,” he said.
To ensure SMEs are able to stay afloat post Covid-19, Tengku Zafrul hopes to see CGC and the financial institutions to have a more serious effort in innovating products and services by capitalising on the advantages mentioned above.
“This will certainly put the nation on a good footing for the next phase of our 6R strategy, Revitalise, to be represented by Budget 2021, and later Reform, underscored by measures in the 12th Malaysia Plan to be unveiled in January 2021,” he said.