Image credit: The Malaysian Reserve

KUALA LUMPUR (April 4): The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti), through its agencies, is working with the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development to address the issue of Bumiputera companies’ low participation in the manufacturing sector.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said among the main challenges is the lack of access to financing facilities for Bumiputera companies, as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Therefore, in the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030, an allocation was provided to Miti to strengthen local companies. The Budget 2024 announcement earmarked a fund of RM200 million to implement the NIMP 2030.

“In terms of access to financing, the government gives local banks the opportunity to be more proactive in helping SMEs, which represent the country’s largest group of employees and employers,” Zafrul said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Negara on Thursday.

He was replying to a supplementary question from Senator Datuk Husain Awang, who wanted to know the government’s initiatives to expose Bumiputera start-up companies to alternative sources of financing, such as equity crowdfunding.

Tengku Zafrul said limited access to financing is not the only major issue — another is capacity building.

“We have to share our experience and knowledge, and this is being carried out through SME Corp and other related agencies,” he said.

The third challenge is to ensure market access to their products, the minister said, adding that Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) is also playing its role to ensure the companies can compete at the global level.