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  • 2017, A Bounty of Opportunities for SMEs
  • IFCA Accelerator Programme Offers RM10 mln to Nurture Prop-tech Startups
  • Malaysia’s Household Debt Down To 84.6 Per Cent, Reflective of Economic Upturn
  • India Is Poised to Become The World’s Fifth Largest Economy

2017, A Bounty of Opportunities for SMEs
2017 has been described as the ‘Start-up and Promotion’ year for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with many businesses flourishing and opportunities aplenty. It was also an eventful year that was filled with activities including the setting up of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and the Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) Market to help thrust the SMEs forward. However, the SMEs continue to face challenges, especially in the adoption of new technologies in the digital era and a volatile economy. Hence, the SMEs must focus on improvising strategies and efficiencies to stay relevant in the business and to customers. Upgrading of technology and the workforce will be vital moving forward to the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. (Bernama)

IFCA Accelerator Programme Offers RM10 mln to Nurture Prop-tech Startups
IFCA MSC Bhd. has launched its flagship RM10 million accelerator programme to nurture and develop local property-technology (prop-tech) companies by providing fundraising, business networking and mentorship. The IFCA accelerator programme is a collaboration with Google cloud’s technology, the company said in a statement today. In its first stage, the IFCA accelerator programme will identify 10 companies within the prop-tech space and nurture them to achieve global scale. IFCA MSC Bhd’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Cho, said prop-tech could redefine the real-estate industry and the company is ready to lead the way. “IFCA MSC aims to foster innovation and growth of prop-tech in Malaysia and identify new ideas that we can integrate. (Bernama)

Malaysia’s Household Debt Down To 84.6 Per Cent, Reflective of Economic Upturn
Malaysia’s household debt has declined as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and was at 84.6 per cent as of September 2017 from 88.4 per cent overall last year. Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the decline was reflective of the economic upturn this year. He added that the economic upturn was also seen as Malaysia having a healthy labour market with the minimum wage set to increase in 2018, alongside the low unemployment rate of 3.4 per cent as of October 2017. “By the end of September 2017, the GDP growth at 5.9 per cent had outpaced the growth of debt at 4.9 per cent. “This essentially means we have more disposable income to pay off our loans,” he said. Datuk Seri Salleh said Malaysia’s economic growth for 2017 was supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which had revised its forecast from 4.5 per cent to 4.8 per cent. “This is expected to remain strong at a projected 5.2 per cent in 2018 by the World Bank,” he added. (Bernama)

India Is Poised to Become The World’s Fifth Largest Economy
India is on track to overtake the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest economy in 2018, according to data and forecasts from the International Monetary Fund. India’s economy hasn’t had a down year in this century and has been growing at around 7% per year since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office at the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014. Next year, India’s economy will be one-third bigger than when Modi took office. That means huge change in the world’s largest democracy. Change on that scale requires difficult policy choices. The Hindu nationalist BJP and its controversial Prime Minister have pushed through tough reforms like demonetization (the sudden removal from circulation of high denomination banknotes) andGST harmonization (the introduction of a unified national goods and services tax). (Forbes)