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Ministry of Finance of Malaysia

11/10/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/10/2021 16:30

CGC 26TH FI/DFI & SME Awards 2020 Virtual Ceremony

CGC 26TH FI/DFI & SME Awards 2020 Virtual Ceremony

Speech 10 November 2021

SPECIAL ADDRESS

YB SENATOR TENGKU DATUK SERI UTAMA ZAFRUL ABDUL AZIZ
MINISTER OF FINANCE

CGC 26TH FI/DFI & SME AWARDS 2020 VIRTUAL CEREMONY

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

SALUTATIONS

  1. Yang Berbahagia Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus
    Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia;

  2. Yang Berbahagia Dato' Mohammed Hussein
    Chairman, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad; and

  3. Yang Berbahagia Datuk Mohd Zamree Ishak
    President and CEO, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad

Chairmen and CEOs of Financial and Development Financial Institutions

Representatives from SMEs and FIs/DFIs whom we are celebrating today

Members of the Media Distinguished Guests Ladies and Gentlemen,

INTRODUCTION

  1. Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Good Afternoon.

  2. First and foremost, I would like to thank Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad (CGC) for inviting me to the CGC 26th FI/DFI & SME Awards 2020 ceremony.

  3. Over the years, these awards have grown in importance because they:

    • demonstrate CGC's commitment to promote the dynamic growth and development of Malaysia's SMEs;
    • recognise CGC's MSME customers for their active participation in its various financing schemes; and
    • acknowledge the Financial institutions (FIs) and Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) that have assisted CGC in its efforts to support the growth and development of Malaysian MSMEs.

  4. For the past 49 years, CGC has successfully assisted MSMEs with insufficient or no collateral and track records in obtaining credit facilities.

  5. As a key player in the credit supplementation ecosystem, I believe CGC will remain committed in boosting the recovery momentum of the Malaysian economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the MSME sector.

  6. And this year, CGC's introduction of the Merdeka Awards is indeed timely as it resonates with the Keluarga Malaysia spirit, calling for us to be more inclusive - across religious, racial, and ethnic boundaries.

COVID-19 ECONOMIC RECOVERY PHASE

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our shores, the Government has implemented eight stimulus and assistance packages totalling 530 billion ringgit, in addition to Budget 2021 worth 322.5 billion ringgit, to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people, ensure continuity of businesses, and help the economy recover.

  2. I am pleased to learn that 40 percent of CGC's approved financing was used to support initiatives such as:

    • the CGC BizJamin and BizJamin-i Special Relief Facility (SRF);
    • the Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility (TRRF);
    • the High Tech Facility - National Investment Aspirations (HTF-NIA); and
    • Micro Enterprises Facility (MEF)

  3. In addition, CGC has granted MSMEs a six-month moratorium, allowing them to defer their financing or loan repayments.

  4. And now, following the success of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) and the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), our economy is expected to grow between 3 to 4 percent this year, supported by:

    • stronger external demand and robust trade activities;
    • a ramp-up in commodity production and the materialisation of pent-up demand; and
    • continued investment in large-scale infrastructure projects.

  5. The recovery is expected to continue next year, with growth ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 percent. This is in line with World Bank and IMF projections of 5.8 and 6.0 percent, respectively. Growth will be supported by a gradual normalisation of economic activity, as well positive spill-overs from continued improvement in external demand.

BUDGET 2022: BUILDING BUSINESSES' CAPABILITIES AND RESILIENCE

  1. The year 2022 is a critical year for our economic recovery, as we expect most sectors and industries, as well as employment, to gradually recover.

  2. Therefore, through Budget 2022, we have crafted and curated various strategies and initiatives, focusing on the rakyat's wellbeing, businesses, and a prosperous and sustainable economy.

  3. Worth 332.1 billion ringgit, this expansionary budget considers the aspiration of Keluarga Malaysia, and is aligned with the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP). Through this alignment, the Government aims to ensure that businesses receive not only a quick leg up in terms of recovery, but also support in ensuring that their recovery is sustainable.

  4. A key target segment for this is the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which employ 70 percent of the country's workforce. Under Budget 2022's Semarak Niaga programme, the Government has provided nearly 40 billion ringgit in guarantees, equity, and loans. This covers the entire spectrum of businesses, from micro to large enterprises.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A VIABLE SOLUTION TO POVERTY

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Today, I would like to talk about poverty and how we can all work together to overcome it.

  2. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our B40 segment has grown in size, with an estimated 580 thousand M40 households have fallen into the B40 category. Therefore, it is very important that we look at the role and importance of entrepreneurship in alleviating poverty in our country.

  3. Let's examine the history of our commodities industry, and how we empowered the FELDA smallholders. Entrepreneurship is central to FELDA's socioeconomic success as it has lifted many smallholders out of poverty. They worked the land they were given to produce rubber and, later, palm oil in order to support themselves and their families. As a result, many of their children were able to complete their education and became professionals.

  4. The reason I am sharing this story is because the current situation we are facing - created over many decades by specific policies, and made worse by COVID-19 - may be analogous to the days before FELDA was created. The B40 represents 40 percent of our population, which is a significant ratio. If they are not provided with the means to survive, let alone thrive and prosper, they and their future generations may not be able to break free from the vicious poverty cycle.

  5. There are many causes of poverty. One of them is education. In general, statistics from many countries show that at least 20 percent of people without a high school education face poverty, compared to around 5 percent of people with a degree. And it is not just about lack of it - poor education quality, as reflected in low learning levels, traps many youths in poverty, slowing economic growth and preventing prosperity from being shared more broadly. Poverty is also a multigenerational issue. In other words, if your parents live in poverty, you are likely to share the same fate.

  6. So why entrepreneurship? This is why: If a person is not able to pursue tertiary education, he will not be able to obtain the necessary degree to secure a good salary in a traditional job. However, if he started a food or clothing business, he could earn a decent income while building wealth through business equity.

  7. In summary, entrepreneurship not only eliminates educational barriers, but it also leads to higher earnings. The hadith that says 90% of rizki derived through entrepreneurship is not mere rhetoric. This is due, in part, to the fact that entrepreneurship benefits not only the entrepreneurs, but also their community. A flourishing business in a community creates local jobs, keeps money circulating in the community, and frequently draws money from other communities. And, as I previously stated, approximately 70% of jobs in this country are created by MSMEs.

  8. And it is for this reason that our policies in Budget 2022 are aimed at creating the right ecosystem for MSMEs to thrive - not only in terms of financing, but also from initiatives that support, for example, the development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (or TVET) skills. In Budget 2022, we have set aside 6.6 billion ringgit for TVET alone. Even our allocations for sectors such as tourism, agro-industry, and the creative industries are centred on nurturing entrepreneurship.

  9. So, how can we make entrepreneurship accessible to all? I believe we can accomplish this by firstly teaching entrepreneurship at a young age. According to research, children who are exposed to entrepreneurial ventures develop enterprising attitudes. Children whose parents are entrepreneurs, are 60 percent more likely to become entrepreneurs themselves.

  10. Secondly, we must establish an official mentorship platform. Access to a mentor or adviser is one of the most important predictors of a business's success. This is also where I commend the CGC for their development and advisory programmes, particularly for micro and small businesses on critical issues like financial management and market access.

  11. Thirdly, we must position entrepreneurship as a viable option for workforce development. We must consider self-employment as an important source of job creation, particularly as we strive to reduce our unemployment rate below 4 percent by end of 2022.

  12. Fourthly, through Budget 2022, we must create an enabling environment for enterprises and small businesses to thrive. This includes digital capacity building, for which the SME Digitalisation Grant Scheme has been allocated 200 million ringgit in Budget 2022; as well as financing guarantees under CGC and the Business Financing Guarantee Scheme (or SJPP).

THE CHANGING ROLES OF FIs/DFISs

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Banks and financial institutions, including DFIs - have always been a barometer of a nation's socio-economic health, and thus play a critical role in the country's recovery. Moving forward, I urge these institutions to step up their efforts to assist the Government in driving a strong economic recovery while also ensuring business continuity, particularly in jump-starting businesses when the economy reopens.

  2. To that end, I am grateful to the banking and development banking industries for collaborating with us to develop innovative and facilitative financing solutions for Budget 2022, particularly for the MSMEs.

  3. We recognise that many small businesses require capital to restart but face difficulties obtaining financing. Therefore, the Government has allocated 1.8 billion ringgit in various microcredit financing schemes. This include TEKUN's Skim Pinjaman Informal and Mikro, which allows informal workers or micro enterprises to borrow up to 10 thousand ringgit with a 12-month moratorium and a zero percent interest rate. This is in addition to the various microcredit schemes that BSN and Agrobank will implement.

  4. For SMEs, a total of 14.2 billion ringgit is made available. This include BNM's special funds, especially the Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility, which has been increased by 2 billion ringgit. In addition, other institutions such as SME Bank, PUNB, BPMB, AgroBank, MIDF and MARA will also provide funds for SMEs.

  5. All of these initiatives are meant not only to help businesses restart, but also to provide them with the necessary breathing space to build resilience, particularly in transitioning to the new norm.

CLOSING

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. Before I end, I would like to congratulate all of today's award winners, especially the FIs and DFIs which have consistently provided their continuous support to the MSMEs.

  2. To the MSMES, keep up that spirit to stay in business and build resilience. The Government and its agencies, as well as entities like CGC, are here to help you navigate the pandemic's uncertainties, grow your business, and achieve success. I am confident that your success today will inspire the next generation to consider entrepreneurship as a viable alternative to more traditional career paths.

  3. Now is the time to adapt and evolve - adjusting your businesses to the new normal, and to find new ways to innovate in order to remain competitive. With the economy recovering, I wish you success in your business.Recover stronger, as you are crucial to our economy's growth.

  4. A big thank you to CGC for organising and inviting me to this virtual 26th FI/DFI & SME Awards 2020.

  5. With that, I hereby officiate CGC's 26th FI/DFI & SME Awards 2020, thank you.

Wabillahitaufiq Wal-hidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh