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MITI Okays Grants, Loans Worth RM1.06 Billion For SMEs
News From : DagangHalal.com (11/9/2009)

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 6 (Bernama) -- Grants and loans worth RM1.06 billion have been approved to 25,549 entrepreneurs engaged in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as of Sept 30.

Of the approved applications, 450 requests for grants and loans worth RM88.3 million were received from SME operators in Sabah, said Deputy Minister of international Trade and Industry Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan.

He said SME Corp Malaysia was handling applications for financial aid in the form of equalisation grants and soft loans.

Jacob also said the Government was committed in boosting awareness among the people on the global halal industry and would ensure the industry's continued growth.

"Malaysia has an advantage in the halal industry as it is the first country in the world to develop the standards for production, preparation, handling and storage of halal food under MS1500:2009 procedures.

Standard Halal Malaysia stipulates mandatory compliance to international standard such as Best Manufacturing Practices and Best Sanctity Practices, he said when opening a seminar on Bumiputera Entrepreneurs in the Halal Industry.

As of Oct 15, Jacob said 2,913 applications from companies for halal certification were approved by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.

He said SME Corp also provides training in technical, management and marketing aspects and courses related to halal initiatives in efforts to upgrade skills and efficiency of SME workers.

" Up to end of September, 23,444 SME employees from throughout Malaysia have undergone training under the programme. Of the total, 439 workers are from SME companies in this state," he said.

In this regard, Jacob urged Bumiputera entrepreneurs not to miss the chance to develop human capital by improving workers' skills and expertise in their companies.

On halal trade, Jacob said it has bright future, with the global market value touching RM9.7 trillion a year.

"In 2003, the world Muslim population was 1.6 billion and the figure is expected to swell to three billion by next year," he added.


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