The government has identified the wholesale and retail sector as a significant player in the economy, contributing up to RM165 billion to the Gross National Income (GNI) by 2020.
State Entrepreneurship, Rural Development, Consumerism and Cooperatives Committee Chairman Roslee Daud said the sector could create 370,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.
"At the same time, human capital development is necessary to ensure the people's intellectual, competency and efficiency levels are consistent with the aim of achieving high-income nation status by 2020.
"The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry with the cooperation of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) and the relevant government agencies have planned a training framework to help transform the minds and spur the self-development of petty traders and hawkers," he said when opening a state-level course for the traders here today.
Also present was CCM Terengganu Director Rohaimi Abdul Manan.
Roslee said there are 37,048 registered petty traders and hawkers in the state, with some 12,000 hawkers in Kuala Terengganu alone, while urging those who have not registered to do so in order to take advantage of special government incentives.
The ministry also offers an interest-free micro financing scheme for petty traders and hawkers through Bank Rakyat, he said, adding the ministry had as of August received 27,228 applications nationwide including 1,445 from Terengganu, where 998 applicants have received a total of RM4.5 million in micro financing.
Asked on the effects of the recent fuel price hike, Roslee said as the fuel subsidy reduction was slight, traders should not take advantage of the situation.
While he said he had not received any complaint about any hike in the prices of goods in the state, he also urged the public to report any price rise to the ministry so that action could be taken.
"They should be smart in using their purchasing power, if any shop is selling at a higher price, just go to one offering lower prices," he added.