SME Malaysia wants more funding for automation and digitalisation

KUALA LUMPUR: The Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SME Malaysia) urges the government to allocate another RM2 billion to automate and digitalise operations to boost their competitiveness.

Its president, Ding Hong Sing, said SMEs need funding for automation and digitalisation to increase output and grow their exports, but automated lines and machinery are not cheap and funding grants are still not enough.

"If SMEs are unable to obtain grants, they have to borrow from banks," he said.

"Therefore, we request an interest rate of below two per cent for entrepreneurs taking loanst.

"Currently, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have cash flow difficulties, so lower interest rates would  benefit their businesses," he said at the 2023 Platinum Business Awards Ceremony held here yesterday.

The ceremony was officiated by the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.

Present were Media Prima Omnia and Big Tree chief operating officer Stephanie Wong and Platinum Business Awards 2023 chairman Datuk Ada Poon.

Ding said not all SMEs were ready to implement the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices.

"ESG practices are still on a smaller scale. To help SMEs move forward, the association must work with ministries and stakeholders to produce ESG guidelines, frameworks and appropriate timelines to facilitate the adoption of ESG.

"I also hope that the ministry organises a nationwide tour, as well as courses and training, for entrepreneurs to increase awareness about ESG," he said.

Ewon said, the association's request would be brought up to cabinet.

He said he was confident that the prime minister would make the best decision after the National Economic Action Council had also reviewed the issue of the lack of ESG frameworks recently.


Source: NST