‘Re­duce bur­den on SMEs by fo­cus­ing on pro­duc­tiv­ity and cash flow’

The Star Malaysia - - Nation -

PETALING JAYA: The govern­ment can re­duce the bur­den on small and medium en­ter­prises (SMEs) due to the global eco­nomic un­cer­tain­ties by fo­cus­ing on two main ar­eas – pro­duc­tiv­ity and cash flow, says Malaysia En­trepreneurs’ De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (PUMM).

Its hon­orary trea­surer

Datuk Billy Goh (pic) said the up­com­ing Bud­get 2019 should fo­cus on pro­duc­tiv­ity by en­cour­ag­ing in­no­va­tion that en­hance pro­duc­tiv­ity, dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion, im­prove en­trepreneur­ship com­pe­ten­cies and pro­vide a strong busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment to the SMEs.

“While Malaysian SMEs are still rel­a­tively lag­ging on dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity through in­no­va­tion, the Bud­get al­lo­cated in these ar­eas will greatly im­prove its strength and com­pet­i­tive­ness in the re­gion.

“In view of un­cer­tain­ties due to macro pres­sures that led to weak lo­cal share mar­ket and Malaysian cur­rency, it may im­pact lo­cal spend­ing and trig­ger a pos­si­ble re­ces­sion next year.

“As such, SMEs will re­quire strong cash flow po­si­tion in or­der to sus­tain and sur­vive,” he said when con­tacted.

Goh said Bud­get 2019 should look into pro­vid­ing suit­able sup­port in terms of SME loans, grants and tax re­liefs in or­der to en­hance sus­tain­abil­ity and com­pet­i­tive­ness, while pro­vid­ing an ef­fec­tive busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment to over­come the chal­lenges ahead.

He said SME ex­port achieved a higher growth of 7.9% last year, re­sult­ing from man­u­fac­tur­ing prod­ucts such as elec­tri­cal, elec­tron­ics, palm oil and rub­ber.

“These are among the sec­tors that will likely ben­e­fit from the cur­rent trade war be­tween the two largest economies – United States and China. “Malaysia, which is one of the main trad­ing part­ners of both coun­tries, can ei­ther be a vic­tim or reap ben­e­fit for our lo­cal econ­omy,” he said, adding that the con­tin­u­ous growth of SMEs sec­tor plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in the coun­try’s econ­omy.

Goh said with as­sis­tance from the govern­ment, it could fur­ther strengthen its com­pet­i­tive­ness com­par­a­tive to other man­u­fac­tur­ing coun­tries in South-East Asia.

PUMM is an as­so­ci­a­tion cham­pi­oning for en­trepreneurs de­vel­op­ment, com­pris­ing mainly SMEs.

Last year, SMEs con­trib­uted 37.1% to the na­tional gross do­mes­tic prod­uct and 65% of na­tional em­ploy­ment.

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