KUALA LUMPUR: The Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), through its agencies, is working with the Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Ministry (Kuskop) to address the issue of Bumiputera companies’ low participation in the manufacturing sector.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said among the main challenges is the lack of access to financing facilities for Bumiputera companies as well as small and medium enterprises (SME).

“Therefore, in the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030, an allocation was provided to Miti to strengthen local companies. The Budget 2024 announcement earmarked a fund of RM200 million to implement NIMP 2030.

“In terms of access to financing, the government gives local banks the opportunity to be more proactive in helping SMEs, which represent the country’s largest group of employees and employers,” he said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Negara today.

He was replying to a supplementary question from Senator Datuk Husain Awang who wanted to know the government’s initiatives to expose Bumiputera startup companies to alternative sources of financing such as equity crowdfunding.

Tengku Zafrul said limited access to financing is not the only major issue; another is capacity building.

“We have to share our experience and knowledge, and this is being carried out through SME Corporation and other related agencies,” he said.

The third challenge is to ensure market access to their products, the minister said, adding that the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation is also playing its role to ensure the companies can compete at the global level. – Bernama

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