Constituting more than 99% of total business establishments in Malaysia, it is clear that promoting a viable SME sector is essential in the nation's stride towards broadening the sources of growth and sustaining the growth momentum. This is reflected in the national development agendas, namely the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP: 2006-2010), Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3: 2006-2015), Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP: 2001-2005) and Second Industrial Master Plan (IMP2: 1996-2005).
SME growth under the Ninth Malaysia Plan: 2006-2010 (9MP)
During the 9MP, the principal SME policy is the development of a competitive, innovative and technologically strong SME sector that is able to contribute to the domestic economy and compete globally. Strategies will be directed at acquiring technologies to propel SMEs up the value chain in the manufacturing, agriculture and services sector.
Strategies under the Third Industrial Master Plan: 2006-2015 (IMP3)
The priority accorded to developing domestic SMEs is further reiterated in the IMP3. The 15-year blueprint, published hand in hand with the 9MP, has outlined five clear strategies to support the development of diverse and competitive SMEs.
The five strategies are:
With the increased allocation of resources outlined in the 9MP and IMP3, the Government has demonstrated its strong commitment for the development of efficient and competitive SMEs; a commitment that is more significant than ever as Malaysia moves towards realising its objective of becoming a developed nation.
SME growth under the Eighth Malaysia Plan: 2001-2005 (8MP)
Under its Eighth five-year planning period, the Government introduced a wide range of assistance programmes for SMEs, all aimed at making them stronger and more competitive.
Highlights include :
Strategies under the Second Industrial Master Plan: 1996-2005 (IMP2)
Efforts to strengthen SMEs were also underscored in the 10-year IMP2.
Developing stronger SMEs required major changes in the manufacturing sector, as SMEs made up over 90% of the country's manufacturing sector.
IMP2 programmes were designed to develop a resilient, broad based and internationally competitive manufacturing sector. Emphasis was placed on helping manufacturers adapt to the changing global environment. Help was also given to make these businesses more competitive in all respects. Efforts were made to vertically integrate manufacturer's supply chains, in order to enhance overall economic efficiency.
Development of Malaysian-grown brands was encouraged, as was the use of ICT tools.