By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Graphic DZUL ASYRAF
MALAYSIAN Industrial Development Bhd (MIDF) has partnered Green Packet Bhd to provide financing platforms for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) embarking on their digitalisation journey.
Through the partnership, the investment bank will offer its financial advisory services to existing and potential clients of Green Packet.
MIDF chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat said the partnership will be a crucial element in facilitating the targeted business group to survive, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic damaged business environment.
“It is crucial for us to develop partnerships like this today to help revive the country’s economic growth and safeguard economic structural reforms, particularly in facilitating the digitalisation pro- cess among SMEs and help them transition into adopting digital technology,” he said during the virtual signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding.
MIDF group MD Datuk Charon Wardini Mokhzani said the collaboration with Green Packet also serves the national agenda of digitalisation and facilitates all levels of the economy in the country to adopt modern technologies in business operations.
“We cannot run away from modernisation as digital is the future. The pandemic has knocked us down and the only way forward is digital,” he said.
Charon added that MIDF is committed to helping SMEs grow their business through a variety of soft financing schemes including the Soft Financing Scheme for Digital and Technology, which assists SMEs that want to adopt or increase their utilisation of digital technologies to make themselves more competitive and efficient.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said as a Development Finance Institution and Government Agency under the ministry, MIDF has been at the forefront in supporting Malaysia’s economic growth and helping local businesses prosper.
Since 1960, MIDF has provided financing facilities at government preferential rates and, to date, has approved RM16.2 billion to over 11,578 companies.
In 2019, MIDF also established a Business Advisory Unit as a one-stop advisory centre to make financing more accessible to businesses, especially SMEs.
“Aside from offering complimentary finance-related services, the Business Advisory also provides information on grants and financial assistance under various government agencies,” he said.
Since the unit was established, it has received 3,279 enquiries and 161 companies seeking total financing of RM507.76 million have been referred to the MIDF sales team, Lim said.
“If a company fails to obtain financing from MIDF, MIDF will link the company to other financing institutions or government agencies that offer financing schemes, grants and incentives,” he said.
To date, 20 companies seeking total financing of RM45.14 million have been referred to other development financial institutions.
According to the Asia Pacific SMB Digital Maturity Study 2020 by Cisco Malaysia, 64% of the SMEs surveyed are considering utilising digital platforms in bringing new products and services to market in 2020 compared to 33% in 2019.
The same study also reveals that 60% of SMEs have embarked on digitalisation due to competition while the remaining 40% said it was due to customer demand.