Bumiputera SMEs urged to tap into halal industry

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK & AFIQ AZIZ / pic by AFIF ABD HALIM

Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) urges small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to tap into the global halal industry which is currently valued at RM10.2 trillion.

“According to Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), as of December 2016, the export value of the halal industry was only RM42 billion. This statistic showed this industry was aggressively expanding due the increasing demand for halal products, Mara chairman Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said.

“We have 207,000 SME companies but only 1,257 of them are exporting halal products,” he said in his speech at the launch of Gate to Global programme in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Awang Adek added that the cause of the small percentage in the market is due to the lack of global market access knowledge, shortage in capital and output capacity, incorrect marketing strategy, product rebranding failure and inability to reach the international packaging standards.

“Today Mara, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp, SME Corp and Idea Institute will create the ecosystem that will aid Bumiputera entrepreneurs in product branding strengthening, enhance business capacity and marketing strategy so they can make their global breakthrough,” he said.

To accelerate the process of the aforementioned programme, the chairman announced that the government has allocated financial

support including a grant worth RM20 million for the pre-export capacity development. The government will also provide RM500,000 maximum of grant to established companies wishing to initiate a RM1 million project.

“A lot of entrepreneurs have export-ready products and services but they do not receive enough exposure and opportunity. As a result, the government will also provide a soft loan worth RM5 million to companies with export-ready products. The loan is to be given within one to 10 years,” Awang Adek added.

The Gate to Global programme is a phased initiative with the objective to create the “winning brand” from Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

The initiative focuses on products in the F&B, lifestyle and wellness, automotive and fast-moving consumer goods industries.

The programme will put an emphasis on the branding of Bumiputera products, especially in the fast-moving consumer goods category.