By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By TMR
Local companies should share business data with agencies like the World Bank as the absence of such figures has created an information void among global investors about the country.
Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof (picture) said during a recent World Bank forum, economists from investment capitals like New York had highlighted the lack of insights about Malaysia.
He said without the key information, it is difficult to provide accurate measurements whether the country is on the right track against against global trends.
“Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to get engage them and try to share data, and let them evaluate and make recommendations which sectors that we should be targeting.
“Based on that we can define our parameters with regard to measuring what needs to be done to spur the growth of SMEs in this country,” he said at the launch of the National Asean SME Policy Index (ASPI) Dissemination Seminar in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Mohd Redzuan said Malaysia’s economic future hinges on the SMEs growth and that the government is committed to developing and empowering these small and medium-sized businesses with a more conducive ecosystem.
He said global investors and economists depend on the databases like from SME Corp Malaysia to measure the various sectors involved by Malaysia’s business community.
“So the sharing of big data would make us more relevant to the development of the world economy. It’s not a necessity but a recommendation for us to know what’s the world trend, so that our growth would be up to speed on what is going on throughout the world,” he said.
Mohd Redzuan said Malaysia has not only maintained its ranking as one of the region’s top performers in terms of SME development, but emerged as having the most advance institutional framework for SME development among the Asean member states.
However, he said Malaysia is still behind other countries in areas like legislation, regulations and tax; entrepreneur education and skills; and social enterprises inclusive SMEs.
According to the 2018 ASPI, Malaysia ranked second behind Singapore, the best performer in ASPI.
Meanwhile, High Commissioner of Canada to Malaysia Julia Bentley said Canada supports the ASPI which will contribute to inclusive economic growth for Malaysia.
“Malaysia is an important bilateral, regional partner for Canada. Malaysia and Canada share a robust trade relationship and we see significant opportunities to expand this partnership,” she said.
Bentley added that the two countries also share the distinction of being signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP).
She said the CPTPP will provide a vital platform of deeper trade and investments between CPTPP parties, including providing the safeguards for investors.
“Canada firmly believes in the need for trade agreements to benefit all segments of the society, and not just large multinationals. This is why Canada is supporting the inclusion of a chapter dedicated to SMEs, to make it easier for SMEs to benefit from CPTPP.
“This ambitious and high-standard agreement will strengthen the rules face international trading systems and ensure a level playing field that maximises the benefits of trade for everyone,” she said.
Bentley also said Canada is pleased that Asean has agreed to push forward with the second round of exploratory talks on a potential Canada-Asean free trade agreement.