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SME Corp to help SMEs if virus outbreak is alarming

KUALA LUMPUR: SME Corp Malaysia will execute a mitigation plan to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should the spread of the Wuhan virus outbreak reach an alarming stage and adversely affect the industry’s economy. Chief executive officer Noor Azmi Mat Said said the agency, which is entrusted with the development of SMEs, will work with the government and relevant agencies to draw up the plan.“The virus outbreak has somewhat affected the SME industry particularly in the tourism and

retail sectors. “For example, during the recent Chinese New Year celebrations, the travel industry took a hit due to booking cancellations by customers,” he told Bernama.He said SME Corp would also organise a number of programmes and activities to ensure that the SME industry could assist the government in achieving the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth target.“The programmes will be executed in collaboration with relevant agencies to develop the SME industry and ensure that we can achieve our target,” he said.

In December last year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government would maintain its projection of a 4.8% GDP growth for this year despite the World Bank’s revision of its forecast to 4.5%. Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said yesterday two new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed, bringing the number to 14 in Malaysia so far.The infection originated in Wuhan city in Hubei province, China and spread to many countries including Malaysia and Singapore, with 563 deaths to date. — Bernama

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