Miti gets RM877.8m to drive trade and investment, host Apec 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) has been allocated RM877.8 million for operating expenditure and RM865.29 million for development expenditure in 2020 Budget compared with RM517.4 million and RM1.15 billion it received in the previous budget.

Its minister Datuk Darell Leiking (pix) said the amount of operating expenditure it received was an increase of 69.6% but for development expenditure, it was a reduction of 24.8%.

“The additional allocation in operating expenditure will enable Miti to implement more programmes and initiatives to drive trade promotion and industry development initiatives as well as cover the cost of Hosting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2020 (Apec 2020), he said in reaction to the 2020 Budget tabled by Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng in the Parliament on Friday.

Apec 2020 would commence from December 2019 to November 2020.

“As the host for Apec meetings, Miti has been working closely with the relevant Ministries and Agencies to ensure that all the preparations are of high standards.”

He said with over 120 meetings to be held throughout the year, this hosting is set to benefit the country including SMEs and local hospitality industries directly.

“It is heartening to note Budget 2020’s commitment to propel Malaysia into the next phase of industrial development, in line with the New Industrial Master Plan 2021-2030 that Miti will be launching in 2020. Key strategies include a comprehensive review of our incentives framework to be more future-proof,” he said.

Among others, 2020 Budget saw pre-package fund of RM1 billion annually for 5 years to attract Fortune 500 companies and global unicorns to Malaysia and also a pre-package RM1 billion annually for 5 years to facilitate local companies investing abroad.

“The Government is looking at making it easy for investors to obtain approval to implement their projects and contribute to economic growth. Miti is pleased that RM10 million to enhance investment facilitating and realization is allocated for this effort,” he said.

These incentives would assist Miti and Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to improve the time taken for the businesses and investors to do business in Malaysia, said Darrell.

“Effort to enhance and reduce unnecessary regulatory costs and delays in getting business approvals will also be addressed,” he said.

The allocation of RM550 million for smart automation matching grants of up to RM2 million per company for 1,000 manufacturing and 1,000 services companies to automate their business processes and move towards the technology frontier would support Miti’s Industry4WRD readiness assessment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) initiative and help transform it into commercial success, he said.

“The smart automation matching grants together with the expansion of Automation Capital Allowance (ACA) to services sector for the first RM2 million until 2023 is in line with the important role played by the services sector in the growth and development of the Malaysian economy,” he added.

Miti, he said would also continue to work closely with the industries in reducing their dependence on foreign labour and addressing the potential impact to cost of doing business, including the minimum wage increment (from RM1,100 to RM1,200) in major cities and amendments of Employment Act 1955. — Bernama