Malaysia lacks conducive biz environment for SMEs


THE local industrial sector is still deprived of a conducive ecosystem, affecting the economic development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Malaysian Technology Development Corp chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat said the move to raise SMEs contribution in the economy must include different stages of implementation to produce effective results.

“When we are implementing a policy to enhance the economy of SMEs for example, there should be two phases. The first phase should revolve around the government’s role in creating a conducive ecosystem so that, SMEs can easily do their business and ease their transition into the latest technologies,” Abdul Rahman said.

“The second phase could start with the private sector facilitating the loans, changing the operation and reducing the dependency on foreign workers,” he told reporters at the International Smart Manufacturing 4.0 Conference (ISMC) 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“The SMEs are small. Once the ecosystem is conducive, then the private sector knows what to do and we can leave the rest to them,” he added.

“Hopefully, the government will spend some amount to create a conducive ecosystem. For example, many countries in the region are spending billions of dollars to create a better business environment as we cannot just ask SMEs to transform their technologies.”

Separately, Abdul Rahman said coordination between private and public sectors would be the dominant component in implementing the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision Policy.

“What we have to do now is getting the private sector and the government to assume positive roles together, as we cannot only depend on the private sector alone,” he said.

“We already have an affirmative action such as the New Economic Policy before, and we know the shortcomings of that implementation.

“The unintended result from the earlier policy is the economic gap (has gotten) bigger among Malaysians living in the urban and rural areas, the ethnic group and the bottom 40% income group.”

The government has introduced the Shared Prosperity Vision Policy to recalibrate the current economic outline, giving focus on new industries to achieve a comfortable living standard by 2030.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the policy is aimed to close the gap between the urban and rural communities.

Dr Mahathir added that the government will be more result oriented in prioritising the lower income group.

The economic vision was announced by Dr Mahathir at the tabling of the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan in October last year.