Pic By TMR
Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) will continue supporting local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on their journey towards the fourth Industry Revolution in approving RM2.1 billion under the soft loan scheme for automation and modernation (SLSAM).
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Chua Tee Yong (picture) said the federal government had allocated RM1.1 billion for SLSAM, and another RM450 million is to be given between 2018 and 2020.
“To date, total approvals by MIDF under SLSAM stand at RM2.1 billion which has benefitted 569 companies throughout Malaysia,” he added, after officiating a seminar on automation incentives under Budget 2018 in Seberang Jaya yesterday.
He said MIDF will continue supporting local companies to withstand stiff competition with various offerings of financial assistance packages, and towards this end, is currently managing soft loan schemes totalling RM2.4 billion.
“The loans will also help them be more innovative and cost efficient in production activity and services delivery, in line with Industry 4.0,” he added.
He said the government had tasked MIDF to focus on encouraging and assisting more local companies, particularly SMEs, to embrace automation and be prepared to move towards Industry 4.0, which is relevant in the next five to 10 years’ time, as the global economy is changing very rapidly.
“The Malaysian domestic market has become too small for local companies to trade, and export readiness is very crucial for them.
“Therefore, I would strongly urge local companies to be proactive in increasing productivity via automation adoption and to explore the export markets aggressively,” Chua said.
He also said the recent Budget 2018 announcement is indeed vital to business communities as it provides support to all sectors, particularly SMEs, with total allocation to this segment at RM22.2 billion.
He said globally, a few sectors are aggressively shaping up towards Industry 4.0, such as electrical and electronics, automotive, industrial manufacturing, chemicals, logistics and engineering, and construction, with estimated investments of up to US$907 billion (RM3.68 trillion) until 2020.
MIDF is the country’s premier development finance institution, and has assisted 10,624 local companies with total loans approved at RM13.9 billion since its establishment in 1960. — Bernama