Malaysia to help more SMEs resume business activities

Malaysia’s economic recovery will depend on SMEs getting back on their feet, suggested Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister.
By: | August 10, 2020

Since Malaysia started reopening its economy in May, the unemployment rate has dropped from 860,000 to 773,000 in June.

For this to continue however, more SMEs need to be provided the support in which to restart their business activities, said Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

He reported that his ministry, in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, SIRIM (formerly known as the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia) and the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute, is ready to provide more assistance to industries such as food and beverage, animal husbandry and automotive.

“We need these sectors to resume their business activities because we want the nation’s economy to recover by next year, and right now, we are on the right track towards ensuring that the target can be achieved.”

READ: SMEs in Malaysia need more help to recover from COVID-19

Also providing more immediate financial support to SMEs in Malaysia is the SME Bank, which has introduced the SME Relief Programme (SRP) for businesses in the tourism, transportation, education and healthy sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SRP programme, said Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, will benefit 3,000 of SME Bank’s customers with total financing worth more than RM$1.8 billion (US$238 million).

He added, “At the same time, other SME entrepreneurs are also encouraged to discuss with their respective financing providers for post-moratorium assistance.”

A loan moratorium granted to SMEs in Malaysia will expire on September 30, leading to concerns that many SMEs will fail to stay in business if more help is not provided to them.