Friday, February 25, 2005

Much Scope For SMEs To Be Further Developed, Says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Friday said there is much scope for small and medium scale enterprises to be further developed so that they assume a greater role as an engine of growth in the nation's economy.

He said there were about 690,000 SME establishments in Malaysia, which represent 92 percent of total manufacturing establishments.

"They contribute about 30 percent of total employment but less than 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)," he said at the launching of the Bank Negara Malaysia LINK (Laman Informasi Khidmat dan Nasihat) here.

Also present was Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the government was committed to the development of SMEs.

Abdullah said he personally chairs the high-level national SMEs Development Council to chart the strategic positioning and future direction for SMES.

The council would drive the policy measures necessary to achieve this including initiatives to strengthen the data base on SMEs.

In her speech, Dr Zeti said Bank Negara's LINK would centralise all interfaces with the SMEs on issues that relate to matters on access to financing and thereby contribute towards enhancing their value-added to the economy.

LINK would also provide support to the central bank's SMEs special unit in a number of areas associated with access to financing.

-- BERNAMA

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