SME entrepreneurs assured of govt help

MIRI: The state government will continue to assist the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) entrepreneurs through the implementation of various initiatives, assured International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

Awang Tengah who is also a Deputy Chief Minister, said the government hoped to encourage entrepreneurship among the people while creating more trading venues, to stimulate the growth of SMEs.

“SMEs are crucial as small businesses also help stimulate our economic growth and provide job opportunities to the people,” he said when declaring open the inaugural Fiesta Sahabat Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) 2019 Miri and Batu Niah branch yesterday.

Some 200 booths are set up at the two-day event being held at Miri City Council (MCC) field.

Awang Tengah (third right) with Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin (fourth right), Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni (second right) and others at a sales booth.

Awang Tengah said the state government was keen to develop industrial estates in rural areas to accelerate the growth of SMEs.

He urged small and medium entrepreneurs to grab the opportunities and expand their networking in order to grow their businesses.

He lauded AIM’s continuous effort in helping SME entrepreneurs in Sarawak by providing financial aid.

On the marketing and promotions of SME products abroad, Awang Tengah said local entrepreneurs must be innovative in their packaging in order to be competitive in the global market.

He assured that the government would facilitate and assist them in product promotion and marketing.

AIM Borneo operations director Che Mahdi Idris revealed that AIM Sarawak had 44,760 members and 2,132 were from Miri and 2,160 from Batu Niah.

“This year, AIM allocated RM23 million for SMEs in Sarawak, but only RM1 million has been disbursed,” he said while urging local entrepreneurs to apply for the funds to upgrade their businesses.

At the event, Awang Tengah announced a RM30,000 grant to Miri AIM branch to assist its members.