PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced four high impact programmes (HIPs) under the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Masterplan to accelerate the annual growth of SMEs from 6.3% to 9.3%.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the four HIPs -- creating a single window to integrate business registration and licensing, SME Investment Programme, Going Export Programme (GoEx), and Catalyst Programme -- will be implemented in stages over the next few years.
He said the SME Masterplan, which began in 2012, is aimed at raising SMEs' contribution to the gross domestic product to 41% by 2020.
"This means that in the years to come, the rate of growth of SMEs needs to be raised from 6.3% to 9.3% a year.
"If SMEs expand at their usual rate or business as usual, we will not be able to reach the target.
"The National SME Development Council has laid down several measures that need to be taken immediately in order to accelerate the growth of SMEs through innovation, productivity and knowledge enhancement," he said after chairing the Council's 16th meeting here today.
The biannual meeting was attended by ministers and heads of agencies of 16 ministries and agencies, including from Sabah and Sarawak, that are involved in SME development in the country.
Najib said a single window for business registration and licensing would lower SMEs' cost of doing business, while the SME Investment Programme would encourage the private sector to provide early stage financing for SMEs, and under the GoEx programme the government would enhance exports in order to raise SMEs' participation in international markets.
"Under the Catalyst Programme, we will identify several SMEs every year, and we will help them to become home-grown champions with minimum annual sales growth of 20 per cent," he said.
The HIPs will be under the International Trade and Industry Ministry and SME Corp, he added.
Meanwhle, Najib said strategic collaborations relating to productivity and innovation will be forged, including involving SME Corp and Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) with universities and SMEs, between Germany's Fraunhofer Institute and SIRIM Bhd, and between Steinbeis Institute and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM).
"With these strategic collaborations, SME operators will be able to get help with commercialising their products," he said.
Meanwhile, Najib said Malaysia is ready to strengthen the SME agenda in Asean as part of efforts to turn Asean into an economic community, adding SMEs comprise 95 to 99 per cent of business organisations in the region.
"SMEs play an important role, and we need to develop Asean as an economic community to achieve the goal of a single market and single production base. We need to ensure SMEs are integrated.
"Asean on our own, we will not have the strength, but collectively we have a population of 620 million and GDP of US$2.3 trillion, that means we will have the advantage of size to move towards Asean as a single market," he said.
Meanwhile, Najib said Malaysia would only sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) if the deal was "on our terms".
"We will continue on that basis and it is going to be tough negotiations but we will do our best," he said when asked to comment on reports that the economic slowdown in China would add pressure to Malaysia in the TPPA negotiations. – Bernama