Tuesday, August 11

Government pledges continued support for SMEs


Awang Tengah

KUCHING: The government has pledged to continue giving incentives to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, said 97 per cent of business organisations nationwide, including in Sarawak, are SMEs, which last year contributed 36.6 per cent towards the gross domestic product (GDP).

“No other country in the world has as many agencies that provide assistance to their SMEs in terms of service, finance, training and marketing except Malaysia,” he said during the Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneur Awards on Wednesday.

He pointed out that the government set up the Sarawak Entrepreneurship Development Coordination Committee (SEDCC) to offer services, assistance and programmes to enhance the businesses of the state’s SMEs; while the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) provides special facilitation funds for SMEs involved in infrastructure development.

Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Chamber (DUBS) president Datu Abang Helmi Ikwan called on the government to provide incentive programmes and funding to encourage Bumiputeras to get involved in the digital economy through technical assistance and grants for online marketing, business apps or devices.

He also called on universities to further expand research into information and communication technology and computer programming.

Abang Helmi called on the Development Bank of Sarawak to provide soft loans to Bumiputera businesses in all sectors.