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SMEs aspiring for growth should approach CIMB

02 Dec 2018 / 10:06 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Business owners, especially those with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), wanting to expand their business could seek advice from CIMB by going to its booth at the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism Show (MAHA 2018) in Serdang Selangor.

CIMB Group Islamic Banking chief executive officer Rafe Haneef said the bank has a formula for SMEs who want to expand their business , as well as for those planning to export their products to new markets abroad.

SME represents the backbone of the Malaysian economy, and the industry contributes 37% and 17% of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and export market respectively, thus it is highly important for banks to help create a conducive ecosystem for them to flourish, he told Bernama here recently.

Rafe said there is a high demand for halal products and services globally, whereby the demand outstrips supply by a large margin.

This gap has created opportunities for businesses in countries such as Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan, he said, adding that China is a major player in the halal economy, with its trade amounting to about US$1 trillion, (RM 4 trillion) and expected to grow further in the next five years.

“I think it is a highly compelling proposition and eventually SMEs would be able to sell their products to much bigger markets, as the demand for halal products and services continues to grow at an encouraging rate.

“ Malaysia could, therefore, be the gateway for unlocking this global opportunity,starting with the Asean region” he said.

In September, CIMB launched the CIMB Asean-China Halal Corridor, which is aimed at creating a halal trading network ecosystem among Asean countries and with China.

Rafe said Bank Negara Malaysia has set an aspiration for the Malaysian Islamic banks to capture 40 per cent of the regional banking business by 2020, and through the Corridor, CIMB Islamic is well-positioned to fulfil that target.

In addition, the company has also joined a global trade platform called the Trade Clubs Alliance, comprising international and regional banks covering 44 countries with a database of over 13,000 customers, he added.

“So if you are looking for any products, any raw materials, any solutions, this trade club can match you with relevant partners, buyers and suppliers. We are planning to host events in these countries so that we can match the suppliers with the importers or purchasers,” he said.

CIMB Islamic also wishes to focus on a few halal business segments which they think are very critical for Malaysia.

Rafe said those segments were food and beverage (F&B), and primary agriculture products.

”We are here at MAHA because it is the best link to agriculture-based and F&B products, and through MAHA, suppliers can also be connected with Malaysian purchasers through CIMB’s halal corridor initiative, with readied end to end financial solutions,” he said. — Bernama

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