The Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s Annual Report 2016 recorded that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy accounting for 97.3 per cent of a total of 662,939 business establishments in the country. MITI expects SME GDP growth to expand between 5.0 to 5.5 per cent in 2016 and between 5.0 to 6.0 per cent in 2017. The report added that as part of the Fourth Strategy under the Bumiputera Empowerment Agenda (BEA), MITI will continue to provide support to Malaysian SMEs under various programmes and incentives such as a Vendor Development Programme (VDP), Capacity Development Programme for Vendors (PPKV) and Research and Commercialisation Grant (GPPV). “It is the Government’s aspiration for more large local companies, more GLCs and MNCs to participate in SMEs development programme such as VDP so that a higher number of Bumiputera vendors can be developed under this programme.”

Moving forward, MITI said the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a digital revolution coupled with convergence of technologies. Malaysia is targeting a GDP of RM2 trillion within the next seven to eight years. MITI believes that unlocking the potential of Industry 4.0 is key to achieving this target. “As the Ministry responsible for industrial development of the manufacturing sector, MITI is collaborating closely with relevant Ministries/Agencies and captains of industry in realising this Industry 4.0 agenda for Malaysia.”

Outlining the major challenges to be addressed in the adoption of Industry 4.0 MITI said these include the development of essential infrastructure and ecosystem, talent and human capital, SMEs, targeted incentives as well as technology and standards. MITI also pointed out that E-commerce is a critical component of the digital economy. To support the efforts in promoting e-commerce, an inter-agency National e-commerce Council (NeCC) was established in January 2016 chaired by MITI to serve as a platform to guide the governance of the e-commerce industry in Malaysia. MITI is working in collaboration with MDEC to drive this initiative.

MITI Annual Report 2016