Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kota Bharu Municipal Council Islamic City (MPKB-BRI) to develop small and medium enterprises (SME) in Kelantan.

Its business banking executive vice-president, Nor Hamidah Abu Bakar said the partnership was an extension of the SME strategic collaboration with Sirim Bhd under the Sirim-Fraunhofer Financing Programme in which the bank played a role in financing the SMEs involved. “Under the scheme, SMEs involved in the manufacturing sector in Kota Bharu will be familiarised with the Sirim-Fraunhofer programme and if eligible may have access to our financing facilities, as well as grants and technical advisory services from Sirim to help expand their business.

“The SMEs will also be introduced to other financial products and services available at Bank Muamalat for their business needs. They will further be familiarised with relevant development programmes under Sirim,” she said in a statement after representing Bank Muamalat at the signing of the MoU here today. Hamidah said Bank Muamalat also welcomed the cooperation of other parties, especially government agencies in developing the SMEs.
“SMEs are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, contributing 37 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). In fact, the government has already introduced various development and support programmes for SMEs, including promoting the use of technology to increase productivity.

“SMEs participating in the Sirim-Fraunhofer financing programme will receive 20 per cent financing from Bank Muamalat for the total project cost, while Sirim will fund the remaining 80 per cent through grants,” she said.

There are currently 46,618 SMEs in Kelantan, of which 94 per cent are involved in the construction, mining and agriculture sectors.

— BERNAMA

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