RM100,000 boost for SME export developmentBY JUNE RAMLEE
GOVERNMENT GRANT: RM52 million allocation for this year, says minister
THE Market Development Grant (MDG), which provides a matching grant to assist small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) undertake promotional activities for the development of exports, will be raised from RM30,000 to RM100,000 effective from July 1 this year.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the government has set aside RM52 million for this year's MDG.
"Last year, the allocation stood at RM20 million with a total of 1,300 companies benefiting from it. But this year from July onwards, we will increase it to RM52 million," he told reporters after launching the Trade Financing Seminar for SME Exporters yesterday.
He said up to April 30 this year, 631 SMEs have utilised the grant, which is managed by Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).
Under the MDG, companies will be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of the total cost incurred by them when they attend trade fairs abroad.
Mustapa said the new allocation would allow SMEs to claim for overseas supermarket or hypermarket listing fee; international patent, trademark and intellectual property registration, international certification overseas and initial set-up cost of representative office overseas for service providers.
He said that services companies with annual sales turnover of less than RM25 million (previously less than RM5 million) and with fewer than 150 employers (previously 50 employees) would be eligible to apply for these grants online.
On Malaysia's trade with China, Mustapa said it has not been badly affected by the economic slowdown in both China and Europe.
"Trade (overall) will still grow between five and six per cent per annum this year. That is our forecast for the whole year," he said.
On the first quarter gross domestic product growth (GDP) of 4.7 per cent announced by Bank Negara Malaysia recently, Mustapa said that he was optimistic despite the present economic uncertainties.
"Malaysia recorded a rather encouraging performance in private investment. This is a good showing and reflects mature investment," he said.
However, the first quarter GDP growth of 4.7 per cent was lower when compared with the 5.1 per cent growth recorded in the same quarter of last year and the 5.2 per cent growth registered in the fourth quarter of 2011.