MITI to begin SME financial aid in 2Q

The aid under the Industry4WRD aims to assist SMEs’ migration of technological capabilities towards Industry 4.0


The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) will begin the financing assistance process under the National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19).

Its Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming (picture) said the process will be done under the second phase of the Industry4WRD’s Readiness Assessment (RA), a national programme that aims to assist SMEs’ migration of technological capabilities towards Industry 4.0.

“The government is identifying participating companies that need a boost of capital investment.

“The second phase of the RA programme, which will commence in 2Q, will consist of capital intervention by the ministry, to allow eligible SMEs to receive financial assistance to adopt the Industry 4.0 technology,” he said at a media briefing in Shah Alam, Selangor, yesterday.

Under the Industry4WRD initiative, MITI will assist about 500 companies to carry out the RA programme through the Malaysia Productivity Corp platform.

“Through the RA programme, we will evaluate the readiness and suitability of the companies which have applied to participate.

“The initial budget allocation is sufficient for around 500 SMEs to undertake the programme, depending on where they are located and how much we will have to spend for a company,” he said.

Ong added that the RA programme, which was opened for registration on Jan 28 this year, has received 80 applications from local SMEs across various industries.

The first phase of the RA programme is to determine which companies are suitable for the transition programme under the ministry.

“If they are chosen, the company would be able to have an expert and competent authority to evaluate their readiness for adopting Industry 4.0,” he said, adding that the ministry will continue receiving applications throughout 2019.

In the tabling of the 2019 national budget in November last year, the government announced a RM210 million allocation that would be utilised from 2019 to 2021 to support the migration of 500 SMEs to Industry 4.0.

The government has allocated RM2 billion under the Business Loan Guarantee Scheme, which provides government guarantees of up to 70% for loans and was launched by the Ministry of Finance.

Also in the budget was the establishment of an Industry Digitalisation Transformation Fund of RM3 billion with a subsidised interest rate of 2% under Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd.

The Industry4WRD was launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in October last year to facilitate companies to embrace enhanced technologies in a conducive and comprehensive manner.