SME Bank ex­pects to boost fund al­lo­ca­tion for on­line busi­nesses

New Straits Times - - Business - DATUK MOHD RADZIF MOHD YUNUS

KUALA LUMPUR: SME Bank Bhd ex­pects to in­crease fund al­lo­ca­tion of RM200 mil­lion for on­line busi­ness seg­ment on the back of the Dig­i­tal Free Trade Zone (DFTZ).

“The cre­ation of DFTZ could not have come at a bet­ter time for us at SME Bank as we have been work­ing on a ded­i­cated devel­op­ment pro­gramme called BIDIT, for young en­trepreneurs aged 20 to 35 to ex­pand their ex­ist­ing small busi­nesses into the dig­i­tal and e-com­merce plat­form,” said group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus at the launch of SME Bank’s an­nual out­reach pro­gramme, the SME Bank XCESS 2017, here, yes­ter­day.

“We have al­lo­cated RM200 mil­lion for BID-IT. As of last year, we have de­ployed be­tween RM60 mil­lion and RM70 mil­lion. We might in­crease the to­tal al­lo­ca­tion if there is enough de­mand for it.”

He said the key to sur­vival for Malaysian small and medium en­ter­prises (SMEs) in an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive mar­ket place was the di­ver­sity of prod­uct and ser­vices of­fer­ing.

“With DFTZ, lo­cal SMEs are no longer com­pet­ing in the coun­try, but on the global scale.

“This is when di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of prod­ucts and of­fer­ings comes into play as a stronger and more unique prepo­si­tion will be able to with­stand the com­pe­ti­tion,” said Radzif.

Mean­while, In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter’s speech, which was de­liv­ered by Deputy In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Ah­mad Maslan, has called on SME en­trepreneurs to take ad­van­tage of the av­enues pro­vided by SME Bank and min­istry.

These in­clude Bank Ne­gara Malaysia, the Sec­re­tariat for Em­pow­er­ment of In­dian En­trepreneurs, Sec­re­tariat for the Ad­vance­ment of Malaysian En­trepreneurs, Cel­com Ax­i­ata Bhd, UEM Group Bhd, Chem­i­cal Com­pany of Malaysia Bhd, Credit Guar­an­tee Corp, Sim­foni IDM Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Jam­i­nan Per­ni­a­gaan Bhd.

“All these con­ve­niences have al­ready been pro­vided for SMEs, given the im­por­tance of the seg­ment to our econ­omy,” he said.

Un­der the SME Bank XCESS pro­gramme, SME Bank had ap­proved fi­nanc­ing of al­most RM1 bil­lion last year. Lid­i­ana Rosli

With DFTZ, lo­cal SMEs are no longer com­pet­ing in the coun­try, but on the global scale.

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