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SME In Malaysia
Last Updated : 29/10/2015 2:59 PM


It all started on 2 May 1996 when the Government of Malaysia decided to establish a specialised agency to stimulate the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by providing infrastructure facilities, financial assistance, advisory services, market access and other support programmes. Known as the Small and Medium Industries Development Corporation (SMIDEC) during that period, its aim was to develop capable and resilient Malaysian SMEs to be competitive in the global market.

In 2007, the NSDC decided to appoint a single dedicated agency to formulate overall policies and strategies for SMEs and to coordinate programmes across all related Ministries and Agencies. SMIDEC was tasked to assume the role and the official transformation into Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp. Malaysia) commenced on 2 October 2009. SME Corp. Malaysia is now the central point of reference for information and advisory services for all SMEs in Malaysia.

SME Corp. Malaysia was established not only as the Central Coordinating Agency for the SME industry but also to provide various services and assistance to the SMEs namely :

SME Corp. Malaysia was established not only as the Central Coordinating Agency for the SME industry but also to provide various services and assistance to the SMEs namely :

  • Business advisory through the “One Referral Centre”
  • Disseminate information on Government funds and incentives on SMEs
  • Channel for feedback on SME issues
  • Liaison for domestic and international communities on SME matters
  • Nurture and develop competitive SMEs through specific capacity building programmes and financial assistance
  • Enhance competitiveness of SMEs using the SME Competitiveness Rating for Enhancement (SCORE)
  • Facilitate linkages with large companies and MNCs
  • SME@University Programme
  • Public-Private Research Network (PPRN)


The new SME definition was announced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in July 2013 during the National SME Development Council Meeting. The definition which has been implemented since January 2014, raised the qualifying threshold for sales turnover and employment of SMEs for all economic sectors. The redefinition was timely in order to take into account the changes that have taken place in the economy since a common definition was adopted in 2005. These include price inflation, structural shifts in the economy and changing business trends. The exercise was also necessary to ensure that the definition remains relevant as initiatives under the SME Masterplan are being rolled out. The new definition was expected to result in more firms being classified as SMEs, and as a result, the share of SMEs to total establishments is expected to increase from 97.3% to 98.5%.

Latest statistics indicate that the long-term growth trend of SMEs in Malaysia since 2004 has remained, with SME GDP growth continuously outpacing that of the overall economic growth of the country. In the period 2005 – 2014, based on constant 2005 prices, the average compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of SMEs was 7.1%, which is higher than the CAGR of the overall economy of 4.9%. As a result, SME contribution to GDP increased from 29.4% in 2005 to 35.9% in 2014 due to redefinition of SMEs effective January 2014.

For more info, please visit SME Corp Malaysia

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