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COVID-19 stimulus package will also benefit SMES, says MEDAC

17/02/2020 08:06 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 -- The upcoming economic stimulus package, aimed at mitigating the adverse external economic impacts of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, will also benefit small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially those in the tourism and manufacturing sectors.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof said the SMEs in the two sectors were among those affected by the outbreak.

“The outbreak has an impact on the operations of many SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector, such as travel agents as well as operators of boutique hotels and AirBnBs. We do not want to leave them out.

“Additionally, the manufacturing sector is also affected as there are countries which had to temporarily halt their factories’ operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the products were supposed to be imported into Malaysia to be value-added,” he said. 

Mohd Redzuan told reporters this after witnessing the exchange of a strategic investment agreement between Commerce DotAsia Ventures Sdn Bhd and BizApp Ventures Sdn Bhd here today.

While declining to disclose further details about the economic stimulus package, he said principally, the government wants the companies to survive and remain sustainable.

He said the stimulus package will also help the industries to prepare for an upturn in the economy once the outbreak peters out by ensuring that the companies remain healthy and ready to take their businesses to the next level.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will announce the economic stimulus package on Thursday, Feb 27, 2020 at 4:30 pm.

“We are in the midst of refining (the package) and consulting with various parties, including Bank Negara Malaysia, financial institutions and business agencies, to identify companies which are affected and the type of stimulus they require.

“Additionally, the government is also discussing alternative steps which can be taken, for example, initiating a tax holiday or providing assistance to ensure that there would be no retrenchments,” said Mohd Redzuan.

Commenting on the event today, he said the strategic investment agreement between Commerce.Asia and BizApp is a concept that the government wants to promote, where the private sector takes the lead in building the e-commerce ecosystem in the country.

Launched by founders Hasnol Mizam Hashim and Mohd Taib Pardi in 2017, BizApp is a platform that is heavily utilised by local businesses and brands to manage their daily business operations, including order and fulfillment management, especially by agent-based businesses in Malaysia.

BizApp currently has over 200,000 agents, the majority of whom are Bumiputeras based in the rural areas.

It recorded a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of over RM600 million in 2019.

Commerce.Asia founder and executive chairman, Ganesh Kumar Bangah said when combined with BizApp, the Commerce.Asia ecosystem would have a database of more than eight million SMEs across seven countries with 61,000 active sellers that recorded a total GMV of RM1.5 biIIion in 2019.

 “We believe that through this strategic investment, CommerceAsia and BizApp can leverage on each other's platforms to encourage the rural communities to partake in social commerce,” Ganesh added.

-- BERNAMA

 

 


 


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