PUTRAJAYA, July 4 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun 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 per cent to 9.3 per cent.
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 per cent by 2020.
"This means that in the years to come, the rate of growth of SMEs needs to be raised from 6.3 per cent to 9.3 per cent 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.
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