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SMEs must increase contribution to GDP by 2020 [ 08-07-2014 ]

KANGAR: The small and medium enterprises (SME) sector is expected to contribute 41 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product by 2020, thanks to the many programmes that are being undertaken to push the sector to the forefront.

SME Corp deputy chief executive officer for Coordination and Development Rohana Ramly was confident the target could be achieved over the next six years given the efforts being undertaken by government agencies to promote products from the sector.

“In order to be at par with developed nations, the SME sector must contribute at least 41 per cent to GDP. This sector is only contributing about 32.3 per cent now,” she told reporters after the opening of the state-level awareness seminar on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man.

Rohana said there was ample room for improvement as 97.3 per cent of the country’s establishments were made up of SMEs.

She said SME Corp had planned 158 activities, nationwide, together with the Customs Department, including 36 outreach programmes, for this year to explain the GST to SMEs. Meanwhile, Azlan said SMEs must understand the new tax structure as it would have a direct impact on them.

“There is no barriers in the business world and that is why SMEs have to be competitive especially with the implementation of the Asean Free Trade Area.

“The borderless business world will have a long-term impact. If those involved don’t equip themselves with the right knowledge and prepare themselves to compete internationally, they will fail,” he said. — Bernama