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[ 16-02-2016 ]
Call For Formation Of SME Cluster Under Malaysia Halal Council
KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb 14 (Bernama) -- A special cluster for the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector needs to be set up under the newly-formed Malaysia Halal Council to enable SMEs to raise their problems, especially on financing.

Expounding on the proposal, Persatuan Tunas Usahawan Belia Terengganu (Patut) president Amir Long said a special fund should be provided for SMEs involved in the halal sector to ensure that plans formulated would reach the entrepreneurs.

"It is also hoped that the council could bring together government agencies which were tasked with providing halal-related financing to SMEs such as SME Corporation Malaysia, MARA and SME Bank," he told Bernama today.

The setting up of the council, which replaces the Special Cabinet Committee of Halal Industry Management and Development, was announced last Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

A bill be drafted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) for tabling in the Dewan Rakyat to pave the way for the formation of the council under a special Act of parliament.

Amir said the division of responsibilities between Jakim and the Halal Industry Development Corp would avoid duplication of tasks related to halal certification compliance.

He said coordination among agencies was important to ensure that SMEs would get easy access to funding information and comply with halal certification criteria, hence increasing the number SMEs, especially young entrepreneurs, getting halal certificates.

Malaysia should capitalise on its the edge over its neighbours, particularly Thailand and Indonesia, spearheading the halal industry, he added.

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