RM5.88b disbursed for SME sector development for 2017: Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has introduced 167 development programs for Small Medium Enterprises (SME) with a fund totalling RM5.88 billion.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the effort is being carried out by16 ministries, involving 60 agencies.

"The government has also set 2017 as a year to promote SME development and business startups as an initiative to uphold SME contribution to the country," Najib said during his opening remarks at the 22nd National SME Development Council Meeting held at SME Corp headquarters here today.

Najib added from 2007 to 2016, SMEs have recorded a staggering 5.4% growth.

This is more than the annual growth of the country's overall economy which stands at 4.2%.

"Despite the challenging economic environment, the SMEs still managed to expand their market.

"And the SME export growth also increased to 6.6%," Najib said.

He also announced that the Malaysian level of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) will be celebrated on June 27 every year.

The date was set during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting held last April.

"In recognising the important role played by the SMEs, we would also like to announce that the 6th national level SME week will start on June 25 to July 1 this year," he said.

Meanwhile, the 22nd National SME Development Council Meeting aims to gather the ideas of its council members to uplift the growth of SME industry.

Among those who attended the meeting is Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, International Trade and Industry Minister(MITI) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin and other ministers that involves to upheld the SME agenda.