Tuesday, October 20

Steps taken to assist SMEs access financing — Wan Junaidi

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KUCHING: A series of measures have been taken to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in accessing financing, said Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

During his winding-up speech at Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Wan Junaidi said the documentation and processes had been improved by utilising technologies and Tekun Nasional had developed ‘Online Tracking System’ to monitor SMEs’ application process for financing.

“Improvement on the standard operating procedure on financial evaluation such as payments into account, delegation of approval authority, expediting account opening and verifying authenticity of documents digitally had been initiated.”

Responding to a request from Dato Sri Richard Riot Jaem (GPS-Serian) for Bank Rakyat to set up a branch in Tebedu, Wan Junaidi said the bank will conduct a thorough study on the said location as part of its support for financial inclusion.

“Consideration to set up a bank or alternative banking facilities such as automated teller machines and bank agent services will be evaluated based on the local population, return on investment and internet coverage.” Currently, Wan Junaidi said residents of Tebedu had access to banking services at Rakyat Xcess in Serian – about 35 kilometres from Tebedu.

On a separate note, the minister said about 354,704 SMEs were Bumiputera-owned and SME Corporation had organised various initiatives to increase the number of Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the field of e-commerce.

Based on statistics from Department of Statistics Malaysia for 2016, Wan Junaid said the country had about 907,065 micro, small and medium enterprises while unregistered entrepreneurs were estimated to be at 1.26 million.