|Special Attention for SMEs in Malaysia (NST-Business Times, 15 Februari 2006)|
The International Trade and Industry Ministry will give separate attention to the small- and medium-sized companies instead of lumping the two into one group.
Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said the small-sized enterprises still require basic nurturing such as entrepreneurship development, information technology adoption and book-keeping compared with its medium-sized counterparts which are more export-ready.
She said the nurturing of very small companies is totally different from that of the medium-sized companies.
"We are now seeing the need to focus on the medium-sized industries, the ones which are export-ready or with export potential.
"The small companies would need a lot more ingredients for export success but medium-sized would be better ready," she said after announcing Malaysia's trade performance 2005 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Rafidah said the Government will assist medium-sized companies to get their products branded, right packaging, meet the international standards quality and market their products.
This will be done through market development grant and export promotion grant as well as tax incentives.
At the same time, the nurturing of the smaller companies will be on-going.
"They are better placed in domestic market, then nearby Association of South-East Asian Nations region," she added.
Medium-sized companies have an annual turnover of between RM10 million and RM25 million.
On the impact of stronger ringgit, Rafidah said local exporters are able to factor in the ringgit's performance.
"They also have to be sensitive with the volatility of other currencies. So far, it has been okay as shown in our export figures," she said.