SMEs eye 41 pct GDP contribution



KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia’s is targeting for its Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to contribute at least 41 per cent to the national gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020 compared to the current 18 per cent export, and 36 per cent in GDP.

Director-general of the Implementation and Coordination Unit under the Prime Minister Department Tan Sri Ahmad Zaki Ansore Mohd Yusof stated that the business sector was key to generating national revenue towards becoming a high income country by 2020.

“The government recognises SMEs as one of the main catalysts for building up the economy as well as a sector that is able to create social stabilisation through employment provision to the people.”

He commended South Korea for studying and abolishing half of its 11,000 irrelevant business licensing rules to uplift its SMEs – resulting in 1 million jobs and RM114.7 billion in foreign investments within five years.

He added that the country’s (South Korea) SMEs managed to contribute 51 per cent to its GDP.

“In Singapore, refinements on aspects of legislation, rules and business licensing requirements including the development of the online system LicenseOne had led to SMEs providing two thirds of career opportunities and 50 per cent contribution to the country’s GDP.”

To encourage businesses in Malaysia, said Zaki, the government through the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) works with the sector to provide customer centric, innovative and faster services to ensure global competitiveness.

He said since inception in 2007, Pemudah has implemented multiple initiatives to facilitate businesses around the country.

It involved the abolishment of rules and acts that were no longer relevant, improving execution through best practices and the development of the Business Licensing Electronic Support System (BLESS).

“This system has managed to transform the often difficult and time-consuming licensing processes through a single online window that offers shorter approval period,” he said during the BLESS outreach programme here yesterday. He added that SMECorp portal recorded 56,200 business communities in Sabah and 21,648 users were registered in the system as of 2016.

Zaki noted that to improve licensing, the number of licenses on the federal level has been reduced from 767 to 454 with 29 more abolished while the state level received a 28 per cent decrease from 2,659 to 1,915 licenses.

He disclosed that BLESS recorded 81,344 transactions for business license applications in 2016 and 74,069 transactions in 2017 and the figure is expected to rise in line with increasing business licenses – from 214 to 285 by end of this year.

“Despite the uncertain global economic condition, our country is still able to record impressive economic growth.

“This is evidenced by a three-time revised World Bank report in 2017 on the achievement of Malaysia’s GDP, with the latest achievement set at 5.9 per cent compared to the initial forecast of 4.3 per cent.”

Zaki pointed out that the government is heading for top five after being ranked 23rd in the list of 190 economies in facilitating business based on the World Bank Doing Business Report 2017.

Although many question the nation’s steady economic position that is based on a GDP perspective, he said the GDP was nonetheless a fundamental indicator for measuring a country’s economic performance.

He admitted that the government, businesses and society still have many tasks ahead if the country is to prosper and grow economically and ensure stability.

“For government, there are inclusive measures implemented to help Bottom 40 and Middle 40 as mentioned in the budget by Prime Minister in Oct 2017.

“For the business community, the government has outlined special and inclusive agenda for the community; as per the SME Development Plan 2017 to 2020, the government is committed to creating friendly a business environment, providing support and continuing to assist the business community.”

The outreach programme yesterday saw three agencies gather – State Development Office, Tekun Nasional and Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit – to provide face-to-face interaction and consultation on business and licensing requirements.

Also present were Sabah Federal Secretary, Datuk Nor Rizan Mohamad Thani, State Development officer Datuk Ruji Ubi and Ministry of Industrial Development permanent secretary Datuk Hashim Paijan.

By :
New Sabah Times