In conjunction with his working visit to Sabah from 1 – 2 February 2017, YB Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) held a dialogue session with local SMEs. The programme was held in Kota Belud and ointly organised by MITI and SME Corp Malaysia.
The objective of the session was to brief SME players on:
- the status of SME development particularly in Sabah;
- the SME Act which is due to be enacted this year; and
- assistance programmes offered by Federal Agencies under MITI.
The session also provided a platform for SMEs in Sabah to engage with MITI, its agencies as well as other agencies tasked with developing SMEs.
There are currently 645,136 SMEs in Malaysia, representing 97.3% of total business entities in the country. Of this, 6.3% are from Sabah. Most of the SMEs in Sabah are Microenterprises.
During the session, the Deputy Minister informed the participants that the Government is working to increase the share of GDP and exports contributed by SMEs and highlighted a few success stories of Sabah-based SMEs including Tomher Industrial Sdn Bhd, Instant Exhibition Services Sdn Bhd, and BT Pest Terminate.
He urged the SMEs to be prepared for change and to embrace new technologies, especially the use of the internet which offers great opportunities to SMEs to increase their sales online. The Deputy Minister also urged SMEs to look beyond the local market and explore opportunities available in ASEAN.
In attendance during the session were officials from MITI and Agencies based in Sabah as well as other Federal and State Agencies such as PUNB, AIM and the Ministry of Industrial Development (MID) Sabah.