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  • RM50 million boost for SMEs
  • CGC to coach SMEs on digital marketing
  • Securities Commission working on Cryptocurrency Framework
  • PNB taking opportunistic approach in determining overseas investments
  • EPF targets 90 per cent members to use I- Akaun by 2021
  • Minister tells agricultural sector to be ready to meet demand from China
  • Singapore on track to meet targets in Sustainable Singapore Blueprint

Government to Set RM50 Million Fund to be Invested in SMEs
The government will set up a co-investment fund (CIF) totalling RM50 million from existing grants to be invested in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) together with the private investors through equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, said the Securities Commission (SC) would assist in establishing the fund including deciding on the co-investment criteria for equity and debt financing. “The platforms (ECF dan P2P) are very important for the SME ecosystem as it provide the opportunities for the SMEs to expand their business,” he said. He added that the government through SME Corporation Malaysia would utilise these platforms in giving out the grants to the SMEs.

CGC Organises Talk on Digital Marketing for SMEs
Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd (CGC) will coache small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to optimise their business potential by organising a talk on digital marketing. CGC said through the half-day ‘Go Digital Talk’, the corporation aims to provide a platform for local SMEs to learn new knowledge and skills to effectively use digital marketing solutions to acquire new customers and grow their business. CGC Chief Business Officer, Leong Weng Choong said SMEs were vital to the economy and the corporation was determined to help them succeed. “We have invested in mentoring because we know that good mentors can provide practical advice and support that an entrepreneur needs to take their business idea to the next level.

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SC Working on Cryptocurrency Framework
The Securities Commission (SC) is working on a cryptocurrency framework and hopes to launch it in the next few months. Its Chairman, Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh, said the SC was working closely with Bank Negara Malaysia on it and would look at this area carefully to see the right framework that would be applied. “There are different positions being taken by different regulators around the world with regards to trading in cryptocurrencies and we want to make sure that we have considered those developments,” he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur. He said the SC noted the growing interests of local investors in trading cryptocurrencies and digital assets. “Therefore, the SC will review relevant regulations and guidelines to facilitate functional and effective use in cases of digital assets in the capital market, including secondary market trading of established crypto currency and digital assets,” he said.

PNB Taking Opportunistic Approach in Determining Overseas Investments
Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is taking an opportunistic approach in determining the direction of its international investments to ensure the depositors get high returns. Its Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, said the group is currently studying the right market, including the United States, Europe, ASEAN and North Asia, as well as right timing to grow its international investments, which are relatively low currently. “At this point, 98 per cent of our investments are in Malaysia. Obviously, in the longer term, we do want the 2.0 per cent international investment to be at a higher level, but we are taking an opportunistic approach, it must be subject to the right investment opportunity and at the right time.

EPF Aims to have 90 Per Cent Members Register With I- Akaun by 2021
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is embarking on its journey towards digital transformation and aims to have at least 90 per cent of its members register with i- Akaun by 2021. EPF’s Head of Services Network Department Mohd Rodzi Abu Bakar said as of September 2017, about 34 per cent of 13 million members have registered with the i-Akaun online facility. The i-Akaun, introduced in 2004, enabled EPF members to keep track of their contributions, retrieve their statements and check their account transactions online anytime, anywhere.

Agricultural Sector Players Must Be Ready to Meet Demand From China
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said agricultural industry players in Malaysia, especially for ‘Musang King’ durian, must start making preparations to meet demand from the huge China market. He projected exports to the republic to breach RM12 billion annually by 2020. He added that getting approval for fresh durians to enter China was no longer a concern following positive response from the Chinese government and local residents, but the concern was on Malaysia’s own capability to meet their market demand. He said this at the launching of the Malaysia Durian Festival 2017 (MDF2017) in Nanning, Guangxi, China. MDF2017 is an initiative by thes and other durian-based products to China.

Singapore Continues to Make Progress in Implementation of Sustainable Singapore Blueprint
Singapore continues to make progress towards the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (SSB) 2015, and remains on track to meet its targets three years on since its launch in November 2014. The SSB 2015 was launched in November 2014 and maps out strategies for Singapore’s sustainable development. It sets out a collective vision for a Liveable and Endearing Home, a Vibrant and Sustainable City and an Active and Gracious Community. The SSB 2015 is guided by five focus areas – Eco-smart Endearing Towns, A Car-Lite Singapore, Towards a Zero Waste Nation, A Leading Green Economy and An Active and Gracious Community. The SSB was first released in 2009, and includes targets under these various areas to be attained by 2030.