The National Entrepreneur and SME Development Council Meeting (NESDC) recently endorsed eight broad measures to further boost SME GDP growth so as to reach the target of 41 per cent GDP contribution to the country by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, SME GDP needs to grow at 7.9 per cent per annum from 2018 to 2020.

This is the first Council Meeting chaired by YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Meeting was also attended by Ministers and Secretary Generals of Ministries implementing SME development programmes across the various key economic sectors.

Some of the solutions that were discussed during the meeting include intensifying digitalisation among SMEs, enhancing SMEs integration in the supply chain and support more high growth SMEs with relevant incentives.

The Government has also agreed to introduce additional macro targets for year 2020 and beyond. This is in part due to the current challenging economic climate in both international and domestic markets.

Based on the overall GDP growth of 4.7 per cent in 2018 and official overall GDP growth estimate of between 4.3 – 4.8 per cent in 2019 as announced by Bank Negara Malaysia recently, SME GDP growth is estimated to sustain at 5.8 per cent in year 2018 and 2019, without the necessary intervention and stimulus provided by the Government in addition to the existing allocation for SME development. Based on SME Integrated Plan of Action (SMEIPA), in 2019, the Government has allocated a total of RM13.02 billion to undertake 162 SME development programmes through 17 Ministries and more than 60 Agencies.

The Meeting also deliberated on the National Entrepreneurship Framework (NEF) as developed by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship Development (MED) since late 2018. NEF will serve as the basis in formulating the National Entrepreneurship Policy (NEP) with the main objective to create a comprehensive, inclusive and holistic entrepreneurship ecosystem. NEP is expected to be launched by YAB Prime Minister in July 2019.