KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan hopes to see more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sell their products and services in the urban areas.
He said people in the urban areas would have more income and higher spending power than those living in the rural areas.
“SMEs must take the initiative to focus their trade more into the urban areas, although it is in the rural areas that some of the fresh products such as rice, vegetables, fish, fruits, pepper and non-food items such as crafts, timber, herbs come from,” he said in his speech, read by Assistant Minister of Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais at an event hosted by National Institute of Entrepreneurship (Insken) here yesterday.
Awang Tengah also said by focusing on the urban areas, the SMEs would help to meet the needs and demands of the urban folk.
He advised SME entrepreneurs to work closely with government agencies implementing various agricultural or entrepreneurial programmes to gain new knowledge and skills needed to enhance their businesses.
Apart from that, Awang Tengah also called upon the SME entrepreneurs to use technology-based platforms to improve the production and quality of their products and services.
“The state government is vigorously upgrading the facilities and infrastructure for technologies, which can help SMEs. This is because we want SMEs here to use technology to develop their business,” he said.
He also said loans and grants were provided to help entrepreneurs start or improve their business.
About 98 per cent of business enterprises in Sarawak are from the SME sector, contributing at least 51 per cent to the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, he added.
Also present at the event were Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak office director Suriya Charles Buas, Insken chief executive officer Muhd Firdaus Azharuddin and Insken Board of Trustees member Datin Dr Syahira Hamidon.