BANGI, Aug 1 — The recovery and growth momentum of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is expected to continue to strengthen in 2023 to surpass the performance last year, according to Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.

He said a paper will be presented soon to the Cabinet on the SME Sentiment Index survey conducted by Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank (SME Bank) to gauge the sector’s outlook for the year.

“We are very confident that MSMEs will perform better this year compared to 2022, and will be far better compared to 2021.

“We will announce (what has been discussed) after I table the Cabinet paper on the SME Sentiment Index,” he told a media conference on the performance of MSMEs here today.

The SME Sentiment Index for the first half of 2023 showed a positive reading of 52.9, which SME Bank said suggested that the MSMEs remained healthy overall.

Meanwhile, on July 27, the Department of Statistics Malaysia announced that Malaysia’s MSMEs recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 11.6 per cent in 2022, surpassing the national GDP growth of 8.7 per cent in the same year.

The contribution of MSMEs to the GDP also increased to 38.4 per cent from 37.4 per cent in 2021, while the value added amounted to RM580.4 billion, marking a substantial increase from RM520.0 billion previously.

According to Ewon, his ministry remains committed to empowering MSMEs so that they stay competitive and capture a wider market internationally in line with the Madani Economy framework.

He said that the MSME-related strategies and initiatives include internationalising local MSMEs, attracting more investors, providing an additional RM100 million for the digitalisation matching grants, and allocating a further RM400 million for micro-loans.

“In its effort to stimulate MSMEs’ growth, the ministry through its agency SME Corp continues to be committed to improving the targeted MSME development programmes.

“So far, there are 225 MSME development programmes conducted by 12 ministries, 56 agencies and seven state governments involving RM10.6 billion in allocations,” he added.