KUALA LUMPUR, 11 October 2019 – We congratulate the Government of Malaysia on the 2020 National Budget, which certainly reflects the Government’s commitment to propel robust and equitable growth for the nation.
Demonstrating this and in line with the Government’s vision for the nation to become an attractive destination for high technology and high value-added industries and recognising the importance of SMEs in driving economic growth, Budget 2020 has unveiled several measures addressing financing challenges and low adoption of technology.
Specifically, the 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 to increase digitalisation of operations for SMEs will improve access to financing. In addition, the allocation of RM50 million to encourage SMEs to engage in more export promotion activities as well as the smart automation matching grant of up to RM2 million for 1,000 local manufacturers and 1,000 services companies to automate business processes are key incentives to facilitate SME development by contributing to ease of doing business, leveraging opportunities in new areas including green economy and faster adoption of IR 4.0. Improved public-private partnership (PPP) will further support the SMEs in unlocking their potential.
This dovetails very well into AmBank’s focus on empowering SMEs. Our commitment is clearly reflected by the fact that AmBank’s SME portfolio stood at more than RM20 billion in FY2019, comprising approximately one-fifth of our total loan book. Ensuring a conducive ecosystem to boost SME growth will subsequently help to drive the nation’s development.
Along with this, as part of the Government’s policies to improve the welfare of lower income segments, initiatives such as the Fund for Affordable Homes and the Home Ownership Campaign are indeed laudable. The introduction of the Rent to Own financing scheme will see up to RM10 billion provided by financial institutions, with support from the Government via a 30% or RM3 billion guarantee. This scheme is certainly a welcome addition to help facilitate home ownership.