Malaysia: AIM to increase financing for operators of halal products

MIRI: National micro financing provider Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) is increasing its funding for operators of halal products here up to RM12.9 million starting next year.

Its Entrepreneur Development Unit assistant director Che Mahadi Idris said the increase was due to the encouraging response from small enterprises as well as the good repayment record.

“This year, we target about RM10.2 million for operators of small enterprises here, where RM9.8 million have been released until today. We have been receiving 100 per cent repayment for the past three consecutive years,” he said.

Mahadi said this to over 270 participants of Halal Development and Awareness seminar at Parkcity Everly Hotelhere yesterday.

According to him, some 2,900 operators here were members of AIM.

Starting next year, he said AIM would also focus on manufacturers and retailers by providing financing facility for the renovation of their premises which was estimated at 21,000 nationwide.

Miri is among eight venues for the seminar which is jointly organised by AIM, Sarawak Islamic Department, Majlis Amanah Rakyat, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Tabung Baitulmal Sarawak and Institut Pembangunan Pengurusan Johor.

Among the objectives of the seminar are to highlight the importance and needs of halal consumers as well as explain to participants the procedures and requirements for Malaysian Halal Certification.

The seminar also gave participants the opportunity to explore business opportunities in the halal industry by creating market and product promotion links through the Internet.

Meanwhile, Sibuti MP Ahmad Lai Bujang when officiating at the seminar said he was optimistic that the seminar would help the participants in many ways, including ways to market their products cost-effectively through the Internet.

“Many people use the Internet today to pay their bills. This gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to promote and market their products online,” he said.

He hoped all sectors involved in the seminar, whether government or private, could help the participants obtain halal certification, which was an important requirement for halal products to be marketed worldwide.

Also present was deputy director of Centre for Extension, Entrepreneurship and Professional Advancement (APEEC) at Universiti Putra Malaysia, Associate Professor Dr Azhar Kasim.