Friday, July 10

RM20 mln to help SMEs in automation, green technology


Chik Chan Chee

PETALING JAYA: The government through the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) has allocated RM20 million under the new MREPC Fund for Automation & Green Technology to help industry players especially the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

MREPC board of trustees chairman Chik Chan Chee said the initial fund was in the form of a matching grant of up to 50 per cent of the project cost, subject to a maximum of RM1 million per company.

“We hope this fund can assist the SMEs to invest in green technology and automation, to deal with the rising labour and other production costs,” he said in his opening remarks at the launch of the fund here, yesterday.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok officiated the event.

Chik said of the 19 applications received, five companies had been approved and were given the certificate of awards to receive the fund yesterday.

The second batch of the approved companies would be announced soon, he added.

Meanwhile, Kok said the fund would also address the need to use renewable energy as an energy cost component of the manufacturing processes could be as high as 10-20 per cent.

“I urge the industry to take the lead in using alternative energy sources which much also be accompanied by pollution and waste disposal mitigation plans approved by the authorities,” she said.

The rubber industry, which currently comprises over 300 rubber product manufacturers, had in 2018 exported RM23.7 billion worth of rubber products, representing 2.4 per cent of total exports in the country. — Bernama