PSIMSUDIN (centre) with of SMEs during attend Platinum BusinessAward 2023
LABUAN: The large number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country requires an equally large funding pool to kick-start environmental, social and governance (ESG) adoption among businesses.
SME President Ding Hong Sing said the ESG matching grant for the community amounting to RM2 billion will be able to accelerate spending by SMEs in ESG, especially among manufacturing and exporters.
HE also suggested that the Government increase the existing SME grants for automation, digitization and smart agriculture to RM2 billion in addition to the allocation of RM40 billion in loans at an interest rate below 2 percent to help SME groups implement these major project.
“Automation and digitalisation are extremely urgent for SMEs today as business challenges such as foreign worker shortage, rising minimum wages and the need for a highly-skilled workforce are bearing down on productivity and profit margins.
“Smart farming technology is also necessary for wider adoption by local farmers to help in reducing our national food import bill,” he said.
Ding said this when speaking at the Labuan Platinum Business Awards 2023 (PBA2023) roadshow organized by SME Malaysia.
The ceremony was officiated by the Deputy Chairman of the Labuan Corporation, Simsudin Sidek representing the Chairman of the Labuan Corporation, Tan Sri Anifah Aman.
Meanwhile, PBA2023 Organizing Chairman and Malaysian SME National Vice President Datuk Ada Poon conveyed that the PBA2023 theme of ‘Innovation, Transformation, Internationalization’ represents the essential attributes for SMEs to stay dynamic.
She also highlighted the Asia Pacific Outstanding Enterprise Award, a foreign category for fostering business networks between Malaysian SMEs and their foreign counterparts, which allows nominations from China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and South Korea.
SME Association of Labuan (SME Labuan) President Jefery Tan in his opening speech encouraged local entrepreneurs regardless of size to obtain recognition for their dedication and hard work by participating in PBA2023.
He also invited them to join SME Labuan as members, explaining that the association provided opportunities for business owners to expand their horizons through workshops and networking events, besides gaining insights from industry experts to propel their businesses further.
Meanwhile, Head of SMEs Banking Hong Leong Bank, Kevin Ng said, strategic collarboration, flexible financing
solutions and personalized advisory services, we believe we are well-positioned to help our SME partners embrace industry advancements and sustainability challenges, improve operational efficiency, and gain competitive advantage at both local and global levels.
He said, Hong Leong Bank acting as a main sponsor and partner can help SMEs in their efforts to expand their reach internationally by fostering an environment that encourages innovation and transformation.
“As a bank with a strong entrepreneurial heritage, HLB is committed to supporting and empowering Malaysian SMEs in their journey towards innovation, transformation and expansion into international markets.
“SMEs have great potential and have innovative ideas that can significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth.”he said.
PBA2023 is independently-audited by Cheng & Co with Fusionex as technology partner, Media Prima and Omnia as official media partners, Asia Media Group as official advertising partner, CTOS as credit reporting agency, GDex as official courier partner and OE EduGroup as official strategic partner.
The strategic venue partner, Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, will host the awards presentation ceremony on 10 November 2023.