• Malaysian SMEs encouraged to venture into Peru and Chile
  • REIT Index to offer greater transparency in industry
  • Franchise Industry to contribute RM27 billion to GDP in 2017
  • Budget 2018 to reflect economy which is sustainable and able to reach target groups
  • SME Bank’s Training Unit ready for more international collaborations

MIDA Encourages Malaysian SMEs To Venture Into Peru, Chile
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has urged Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to venture into Peru and Chile to expand its customer base and gain access to new resources. Deputy Chief Executive, Datuk N. Rajendran said in going abroad, the business community and the government stood to benefit, as the move would not only deepen the global presence of the SMEs, but also strengthen Malaysian brands. “Investments from these two Latin America companies have not been significant in Malaysia. “However, with more local companies expanding their reach there, we trust that this will translate into a better understanding on the investment opportunities available in Malaysia, by the business communities there,” he added.

REIT Index to Offer Greater Transparency In Industry
The new Bursa Malaysia’s Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Index will help provide greater transparency in the REIT Industry and promote stronger governance practices and instill greater market confidence. Bursa Malaysia Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Atan, said the Malaysian REIT industry has matured to the point where the exchange felt it was the right time to launch the index. “The index also has the potential to provide a further boost to liquidity in the market and greater visibility for the development of a wider range of REITs, such as the more exotic types, including those linked to renewable energy or childcare centres. “In the US, there are even REITs linked to prisons,” he said at the launch of Malaysia REIT Index today. Malaysia joined developed markets such as the US, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and Singapore, in having a dedicated REIT Index.

Franchise Industry to Contribute RM27 Billion to GDP In 2017
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the franchise industry is expected to contribute RM27 billion to gross domestic product (GDP) this year. He said the ministry was planning to increase exports of franchise products through the Enhanced Franchise Development Programme and organise a trade mission to Japan next year. “We want to take advantage of the growing demand for halal products in Japan by making forays into the Japanese market,” he said at the Malaysian Franchise Awards 2017.

Budget 2018 To Reflect Economy Which Is Sustainable, Able To Reach Target Groups
The 2018 Budget, which will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow, will reflect a economy which is more sustainable and able to reach the target group, said Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. “The new economic model will replace the less effective old one. As we know the existing economic model has some elements such as low wages as well as excessive subsidies,” he told a news conference after a dialogue session and information sharing with women entrepreneurs. Commenting on the subsidies, he said, the government would continue to subsidise. However, he said, they would be rationalised to benefit the targeted group.
At the same event, Mustapa also launched the re-branding of SME Corp Malaysia’s One Referral Centre. SME Hub (formerly known as One Referral Centre) aims to equip SMEs with filtered and focused information and knowledge to aid the development of SMEs. Previously, the method of obtaining information on entrepreneurship was limited, now with SME Hub, SMEs can access relevant information online and offline. Besides that, to ensure this initiative covers SMEs in the rural areas, the SME Hub-On Wheels was developed to assist in providing business advisory services to SMEs that are located in rural areas.

SME Bank’s Training Unit Ready For More International Collaborations
SME Bank’s unit, Centre For Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn Bhd (Cedar), is ready to expand its collaborations with other regional bodies in the area of small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) capacity and capability development. Chief Operating Officer, Husain Dawoed, said Cedar’s maiden international collaboration inked today signalled the pathway for more international ties which might benefit SME Bank and the country. “With our first international memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed with Botswana, we should be able to expand our wings to other countries through SMEs’ capacity and capability building. From Africa, we may expand next to Association of South-East Asian Nations. Husain said the Cedar-Ceda MOU would pave the way for both parties to improve their SME programme offerings based on better understanding of the international market environment.