he SME Masterplan 2012-2020, to be unveiled on Thursday, will define the direction where small and medium enterprises should be in the next eight years to achieve the sector’s target to raise its gross domestic product contribution to 41% from 32% currently.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir said the innovative segment was an important target area for SMEs.
“The masterplan will clearly define where we want to be in the next eight years. Once we have that kind of direction, SMEs can know what to expect,” he said at a press conference after the offical launch of SME Recognition Award 2012.
He said incentives would continue to be given to SMEs to assist them in achieving growth and objectives.
Mukhriz said there were two major funds given to SMEs allocated under Budget 2012.
“These are the RM500mil for the Syariah Compliant Commercialisa-tion Innovation Fund and the RM2bil fund to provide eligible SMEs involved in syariah-compliant business activities,” he said.
Mukhriz said SMEs should also need to diversify their markets and supply base in the face of volatility in the currency markets and trade with countries that do not have major impact on the ringgit.
“There is a also a need for SMEs to be able to hedge so as not to be hit by changes in currency exchange,” he said.
Meanwhile, SMI Association of Malaysia national president Teh Kee Sin said it was time for the SMEs to transform their mindset and value system and strive to be more creative and innovative, and adopt branding intiatitives as well as full utilisaton of informaton communications and technology in the approach to producing goods and services to meet market changes.
“SMEs must take heed of the current economic scenario which is full of uncertainties,” Teh said in his opening remarks.
Nomination for the award is open and would close on Sept 15.
The award is to honour outstanding SMEs in Malaysia based on their competitive strengths.