KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has announced RM2.9 billion (S$980 million) worth of incentives for bumiputra small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make them more competitive.
The incentives would be distributed through various agencies, programmes and funds.
"I understand that entrepreneurs need the Government's assistance. So I would like to announce 11 new initiatives worth RM2.9 billion," he said in a speech at a Bumiputera entrepreneurs gathering that was attended by about 10,000 people.
The incentives include RM2 billion for the continuation of the Bumiputera Facilitation Fund, from this year, and another RM500 million to intensify bumiputra involvement in retail and distribution industries.
The Prime Minister said that RM50 million would be set aside for companies that are listed on the Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (Leap) while another RM40 million would be set aside for the Local to Global Corporation Ascend 800 programme.
Besides that, RM60 million has been allocated for the Tunas Usahawan Belia Bumiputera (TUBE) programme while allowances to encourage the rise in SME exports will be extended for another two years until 2020.
Additionally, RM50 million each will also be allocated for the following - the SpeedMeUp programme, Skim Pembiayaan Mudah Jaya (SPiM), WIRA eDagang Digital Free Trade Zone initiative for the next three years and for an investment incentive fund.
Mr Najib also said the government's Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) would be empowered to be the sole coordinator for all policies and programmes in regards to bumiputras at every level including ministries, agencies and government-linked companies.
He added that he wanted to continue the legacy of his father Tun Abdul Razak, the country's second Prime Minister who introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP).
"I will continue supporting the bumiputra agenda as a national agenda. This is my promise," said PM Najib.
The event was organised by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) and SME Corp.
Also present were Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and his deputy Datuk Ahmad Maslan.