SMEs Urged To Use Guarantee Schemes To Penetrate Halal Mart

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can now access special financing
schemes, such as the Government Guarantee Scheme, to penetrate the
halal market.

The Halal Industry Development Corp (HDC), in collaboration with
four Islamic financial institutions, namely Bank Kerjasama Rakyat
Malaysia Bhd, Maybank Islamic Bhd, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Bhd and CIMB
Islamic Bank Bhd, will help ensure the scheme was efficiently used by
the SMEs.

The Government Guarantee Scheme was introduced under the Second
Economic Stimulus Package early this year to help companies during the
global economic slowdown.

Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, said the
collaborative effort was important to assist the small industry halal
players upgrade their capabilities and their capacities to export and
to produce.

“I hope the SMEs will pursue this vigorously in order to take advantage of this arrangement Thursday,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating the ceremony to sign memoranda of agreement between HDC and the four banks.

Awang Adek said demand for halal products and services was
expected to increase in tandem with growing Muslim population and the
growing affluence among Muslims with high disposable incomes.

“For this reason, HDC will assume its role in providing the
support to recommend eligible companies secure financial facilities,”
he said.

Earlier, HDC’s chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin,
said the objective of the collaboration was to enable HDC to assist the
halal industry players with strong potential penetrate new halal
markets globally and expand their export capabilities.

“We hope these companies will obtain financing using the
Government Guarantee Scheme to help them sustain and expand their

“They will then be able to increase their capacities to market their products globally,” he said.

Meanwhile, Awang Adek hoped that proposals for Budget 2010 would
help further strengthen the measures in promoting the halal industry.

“We are still looking at this industry as a major source of growth to our economy in the preparation of the budget,” he said.