KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 – The Prime Minister has promised good news for entrepreneurs as he sets out to boost the entrepreneurial sector in the 2018 Budget. Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the good news would go a long way to prove the government’s commitment to providing support to the country’s entrepreneurial sector, especially for village entrepreneurs to become global players.
He said during the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) alone, the government allocated RM1.04 billion to implement various entrepreneurship development programmes under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development. Of the amount, RM520.1 million was allocated for entrepreneurship development programmes under Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), while the balance of RM521.12 million was given out to other agencies under the ministry to implement their programmes.
For the first two years of the 11MP, RM253.68 million was allocated to the ministry to implement entrepreneurship development programmes, he said when opening the Village Entrepreneurship Carnival (KUD 2017) at the Putra World Trade Putra Centre here today. Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was present.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said in Budget 2017, no less than 10 initiatives were introduced to strengthen the entrepreneurial sector. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said entrepreneurs needed to be aware of the evolution of the economic landscape that was riding the waves of the fourth industrial revolution, banking on the latest technologies and knowledge-based industries.
“The sophistication of digital technology changes and will change the way businesses operate, such as blockchain, digital currency, online business and cashless transaction that has become the new normal in the new entrepreneurship and business ecosystem,” he said. He said hence, the government would continue to empower local entrepreneurs to ensure that they were equipped with the latest and innovative knowledge, as well as become highly resilient.
In order to achieve the agenda, he said the government has introduced the Digital Free Trade Zone, the first digital economic hub outside China which is scheduled for launch on Nov 3. “Through the initiative, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre will be developed in Bandar Malaysia as the world’s greatest e-commerce hub, with 1,500 eligible small and medium enterprises set to be listed on the Alibaba.com e-commerce platform. “Hence, rural entrepreneurs must seize this opportunity to enter the league as global players,” he said.
KUD 2017, which gathers more than 700 entrepreneurs, is expected to record sales of more than RM3 million and orders worth RM10.5 million, with more than one million visitors expected. Looking at these figures, KUD can be an effective platform to forge a strategic partnership between entrepreneurs, wholesalers, marketers, financial institutions and financiers, as well as government agencies involved in entrepreneurial development,” he said.
Themed ‘Rural Entrepreneurs Global Products’, the four-day biennial carnival from Thursday until Sunday offers products from six clusters, namely food and beverages; agricultural products; lifestyle, health and beauty; information and communication technology (ICT) and creative ICT; services; and tourism. The carnival also includes the Trade and Business Matching Day with 65 potential companies, an entrepreneurship seminar, a student entrepreneurship forum, a cultural presentation, product demonstrations, cooking and handicraft display. — Bernama