Businesses to get help from stimulus package

Business performances are expected to rebound in 2H as the govt is still evaluating the impact of the virus disruption, says Ong


BUSINESSES hit hardest by Covid-19 can expect direct assistance under the economic stimulus package, especially those in the retail, tourism and aviation industries.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said his ministry has submitted its recommendations to the Finance Ministry and he is confident that it will be addressed fairly.

Ong added that business performances are expected to rebound in the second half (2H) of this year, as the government is still evaluating the impact of the virus disruption to the global value chain.

“Industry players are advised to be prepared to attract more investors coming from China and multinational corporations, given our stable and business-friendly environment.

“Other countries in the region, including Singapore and Thailand, have indicated that they will also introduce their stimulus packages.

“I think this is something good and it shows that we are coordinated as a region and that we see the need to be able to stimulate our economies together,” he told reporters after launching the Smart Trade Zone (STZ) by Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The government is also cautiously optimistic that the country can continue to attract quality investments once business resumes as usual, he added.

The government is expected to announce the economic stimulus package on Feb 27 to mitigate the adverse external economic impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, speaking on the STZ, Ong said the facility will allow businesses to connect and look for new potential leads, especially through its Smart Partners Programme.

The STZ serves as an ecosystem that drives trade and investment opportunities and facilitates processes between company, government and local council institutions.

The facility targets industries such as technology, agriculture and farming, smart manufacturing, environment and sustainability, tourism, pharmaceutical and medical.

Mitec CEO Gunther Beissel said users can book meeting spaces easily, review their events and generate QR codes as virtual business cards.

“From time to time, members can enjoy exclusive privileges. STZ members can also utilise the facilities for free in the first six months of registration,” he added.

Also at the event, STZ established its inaugural BizLab activities in partnership with Malaysian Technology Development Corp (MTDC) to build and nurture new small and medium enterprise events relating to

Industrial Revolution 4.0. MTDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat said the launch is the first signature programme which MTDC and Mitec are venturing on.

“This is an opportunity for MTDC to showcase locally developed solutions and technologies by companies from MTDC’s ecosystem and Centre of 9 Pillars.

“We are pleased with this new partnership, as the STZ provides an avenue for us to showcase tech companies for potential collaboration with local industry partners aside from providing an avenue for networking among technopreneurs,” he said.

Along with that, the STZ has also secured partnerships with CEMS Conference and Exhibition (M) Sdn Bhd for this year’s Malaysia Travel and Tourism Mart; and Best Events Sdn Bhd for the upcoming Global Drone Conference Kuala Lumpur 2020.