SMEs Assured of More Initiatives For Growth And Bigger Market
KUCHING: The state government has and will continue to implement more initiatives to enhance support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to achieve quality growth and reach out to a broader market.
Deputy chief minister who is also Industrial and Entrepreneur Development minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan shared that ‘Anjung Usahawan’ which have been set up in strategic locations and Sarawak Product Pavilion in KL to begin operation by this year end were among the latest measures to help SMEs expand their markets.
“The pavilion will become the centre to collect, showcase, promote, retail and distribute 100 per cent products such as food and handicrafts from Sarawak,” he said.
“There are many Sarawak products that can be pushed, not only into our domestic market but regional and beyond including Ikan Tahai, Sarawak Laksa, gula apong, bird nest and many more,” he added.
Awang Tengah highlighted this at the closing ceremony of the Sarawak SME Week Conference organised as part of the 3rd Sarawak Timber and SMEs Expo 2017 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday(20 May 2017).
Besides that, he emphasised that Anjung Usahawan provided a facility for local entrepreneurs to gather, process and market the locally produced products.
Currently, there were two Anjung Usahawan in operation located in Balingian and Sri Aman while contruction of three more facilities were ongoing in Merapok, Gedong and Betong.
Emphasising digital economy and e-commerce, Awang Tengah urged the growing business community including SMEs and startups to embrace information technology in their operations.
“Seize the diverse opportunities available to maximise your market potential and reach out to not only target market but customers beyond our shores,” he advised.
“We must fully utilise the technology tools in order to reap the benefits. That’s why the government provides facilities like Borneo744, Digital Village and implement various incubator programme to help our SMEs and entrepreneurs grow,” he said.
To encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, Awang Tengah added that providing a location to set up cottage industry would be made a policy in village expansion programmes in Sarawak.
“Then people who are interested can start small business and spur entrepreneurial activities to create a vibrant marketplace locally,” he said.
Concerned about the numerous state and federal agencies involved in implementing entrepreneurship programmes which Awang Tengah observed could cause duplication of jobs, roles and functions, a Sarawak Entrepreneur Development Coordination Committee (SEDCC) was established.
“The committee serves to coordinate, clarify and organise all available assistance, programmes and activities by the government to prevent duplication and ensure efficient and concerted efforts to bring positive impacts for entrepreneurs,” he added.
Assistant minister for Coastal Road Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Entrepreneur and SME Development Assistant Minister Datuk Naroden Majais, Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Assistant Minister Datu Len Talif Salleh, permanent secretary to Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, Trade and Investment, Datu Liaw Soon Eng were among those present.