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SME Bank Launches Business Exports Programme to Nurture Bumiputera Exporters

KUALA LUMPUR : 23 September 2021

Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (SME Bank), an agency under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) today launches the Business Exports Programme (BEP) to nurture and develop more Bumiputera SME entrepreneurs through a fund allocation of RM30 million by MEDAC for five years from 2020 -2025.

Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar said, “Data released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia shows that the value of export trade for the first half of the year rose by 30.2 percent to RM585.56 billion. With this positive development, I urge Bumiputera SME entrepreneurs to seize this opportunity to ensure that they are able to expand their business internationally through this BEP program.”

Tan Sri Noh added, "Looking at the potentials of this initiative and the success achieved previously, MEDAC has decided to increase the allocation from RM10 million to RM30 million for SME Bank to implement this BEP programme."

SME Bank Group President/Chief Executive Officer, Aria Putera Ismail said, “To date, a total of 29 companies of which 18 are from the manufacturing sector and 11 from the services sector have been selected to participate in the BEP. Through a structured intervention activities, these companies will be guided and monitored using six parameters namely, production / technical, financial, labor, export requirements, marketing as well as standards and regulations. The BEP program is implemented in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) as our strategic partner.”

Aria added, “These six parameters will help the participating SME entrepreneurs to prepare their companies, products and services to meet the demand and standard requirements to enter the international market. In addition, SME Bank also provides comprehensive free entrepreneurship training through its subsidiary, the Center for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd. (CEDAR) so that they can remain resilient and compete in a larger and more challenging business arena.”

Among the trade mission programs that BEP participants will participate in in the near future are the MIHAS 2021 from 9 September to 31 December 2021, E-Biz Match with Ugandan entrepreneurs on 28 September 2021, Export Acceleration Mission Bangkok, Thailand, from 18 to 20 October 2021 and Dubai Expo 2020 from 13 to 19 February 2022.

SME Bank as the implementing agency has started this program from 2016 to 2019 where previously it was known as the Best Exporters Program and was a collaboration between TERAJU, SME Bank and MATRADE. 73 local companies participated in the program and recorded an increase in export revenue of RM141.4 million; 55 companies have managed to increase export revenue; 19 companies have become new exporters and 13 companies have received financing from SME Bank amounting to RM87.7 million.

BEP is a structured intervention programme that has been included under the 11th Malaysia Plan. The programme supports the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 under the initiative to diversify the country's exports and reduce dependency on oil and gas exports. In addition, BEP also directly supports Thrust 6 under the National Entrepreneurship Policy (DKN) 2030 in internationalizing high-performing enterprises, by facilitating Bumiputera SME entrepreneurs to penetrate into the export market.

The BEP launching ceremony was officiated by the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Tan Sri Noh Haji Omar, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Muslimin Yahaya, Dato’ Seri Nazir Ariff, Chairman of SME Bank and Aria Putera Ismail, Group President/Chief Executive Officer of SME Bank.