Over 70% SMEs in Sarawak expected to register losses

Deputy Chief Minister Awang Tengah (Dayak Daily Pic)

By Emma Victoria

ABOUT 73 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sarawak are expected to register losses this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan the SMEs had to adopt strategies to survive in new business landscapes and digitalise their business operations to address various challenges in the pandemic era.

He said the state government had offered several assistance packages worth RM1.741 billion under Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS), to help the SMEs in the state.

“Besides, my Ministry had allocated RM50 million for the Sarawak Micro Credit Scheme and RM80.7 million for the Special Relief Fund,” said Awang Tengah, who is also International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Minister in his winding up speech at the state assembly today.

Apart from that, he said the State Industrial Coordination Committee (ICC) had approved 56 investment projects totalling RM21.6 billion, creating about 11,600 employment opportunities for the state.

Of the total, 19 were Industrial Coordination Act (ICA) 1975 projects, amounting to RM15.8 billion, mainly in basic metal products, wood and wood-based products and transport equipment products.

“These projects were expected to create about 6,000 employment opportunities in Sarawak.”

Meanwhile, the remaining projects totalling RM5.8 billion were mainly in electrical and electronic products, non-metallic mineral products, wood and wood-based products, renewable energy, transport equipment products, among others.

“These investments are expected to create another 5,600 employment opportunities in the state,” he said.