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SMEs masterplan focuses on growth [08-06-2011]  
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The SME Masterplan, which is currently being formulated, will provide the policy direction for the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector up to 2020.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Government's support would be guided by the masterplan. SME Corp is drawing up the masterplan in collaboration with the World Bank.

“The plan will establish the policy direction of the SME sector up to 2020. It will focus on programmes that will accelerate the growth of SMEs through productivity gains and innovation.

“The first phase of the masterplan focusing on strategy has been endorsed by the National SME Development Council. The second phase, devoted to defining specific courses of action, is currently being prepared,'' he said at the opening of SMIDEX 2011: SME Innovation Showcase here yesterday. From 2006 to 2011, he said the Government had allocated RM26.6bil for SME development programmes, adding that these have benefited more than 2.4 million people.

This year, it was implementing 219 SME development programmes costing RM5.9bil to support the development of SMEs.

According to the Global Innovation Index of 2009-2010, Ireland is the global leader in innovation for the second year running. Sweden and Hong Kong are in second and third position respectively while Malaysia is ranked 52nd out of 132 economies.

Entrepreneurs and companies needed to subscribe to a corporate culture that encouraged innovation even at the risk of failure, he said. “They need to allocate budgets for innovation activities, and reward innovation with financial and non-financial incentives. And very critically, I think corporate leaders must lead by example by personally participating in the innovation process.

“Secondly, we need to strengthen collaboration between academia and business, and bring together the thinkers and the doers. The introduction of market discipline to the innovation process is useful as it will help to give us a better understanding of what works and what doesn't, and thus help us allocate our resources better,'' he added.

Thirdly, he said the country needed a vehicle to coordinate all these activities and lead the drive to build an innovative Malaysia, adding that this was the task of the recently established Innovation Agency of Malaysia.

He said the business start-up fund and business growth fund introduced recently by the Malaysian Technology Development Corp were designed to support innovation at the early stages.

The business start-up fund has an allocation of RM100mil while the business growth fund has an allocation of RM150mil.

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