Budget 2018: CIMB urges govt to focus on SMEs

03 Oct 2017 / 20:50 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Integrated banking group, CIMB, is hoping for the government to emphasise the digital and knowledge economy, as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the upcoming 2018 Budget.
    Group chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz Tengku Abdul Aziz said this is in continuation of the previous budget, as well as the government’s ongoing efforts at improving the SME sector.
    “The government recently launched policies emphasising innovation and creativity, especially for the SMEs,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2017 today.
    He said the financial sector, as a strong industry, needs to play a bigger role in developing SMEs, especially in terms of innovation and expansion into the region.
    He said apart from the economy, the government is expected to table a budget to look after the welfare of the bottom 40% (B40) and middle 40% (M40) household income earners.
    “Looking at the higher cost of living and housing, I think these are the areas the government should be focusing on.”
    Tengku Zafrul Aziz said CIMB is upbeat on Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth, underpinned by the strengthening of oil prices as well as an improvement in the overall economy.
    “The industry, as a whole, was surprised at the good GDP performance in the first half of the year. CIMB has upgraded Malaysia’s GDP growth forecast to 5.3% for this year from an initial projection of 4.9%.”
    The two-day forum, themed, “Cerebrum vs Algorithm: Building True Value in a Post-Truth World”, has attracted nearly 1,000 participants, comprising local and foreign corporate leaders, policy makers, academicians, non-governmental organisations and civil society practitioners. – Bernama


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