HDC, Bank Islam offer RM100mil new financing for SMEs

KUALA LUMPUR: Halal Development Corp Bhd (HDC) and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd have partnered to provide a new GO Halal Fund with an initial allocation of RM100 million.

The fund is eligible for local small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) to embark or expand into the Halal industry, which is expected to grow to US$3 trillion by 2030.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the facility was a significant effort for SMEs to strengthen their business while facing the adversities of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“While the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) implementation beginning June 1, 2021 has  added to the challenges faced by business owners, they need to remain resilient and prepare for the new approach of doing business, which is to become accessible digitally and globally,” Azmin said at a virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Bank Islam and HDC today.

Azmin said the facility will assist SMEs in a better coordinated and structured format, concentrating on improving capacity building.

“About 300 local SMEs will benefit from the GO Halal Fund, with a special focus on encouraging higher participation of Bumiputera-owned SMEs in the Halal industry.

“This is in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, which aims for the B40 and M40 groups to contribute more towards the nation’s economic transformation and regeneration efforts,” he said.

The fund will provide comprehensive package deals for HDC members, including Halal certification training and Bank Islam’s product bundling package to qualified SMEs.

Other key areas of collaboration between Bank Islam and HDC involve in the synergistic integration between the SMEXpert mobile app, a dedicated platform by Bank Islam aimed at developing the SME ecosystem, and HDC’s Halal Integrated Platform (HIP), a complete and comprehensive Halal Ecosystem Platform.

HDC and Bank Islam will also jointly promote and facilitate the participation and growth of Malaysia’s Halal ecosystem, while concurrently embarking on the SMEs digital transformation journey and capacity building initiatives.

HDC chief executive officer Hairol Ariffein Sahari said local SMEs now have a wider viable platform to help them remain competitive.

“Currently, HIP has onboarding members of 2,200 and these companies are eligible to apply for the fund. This should hopefully provide some relief to local SMEs severely impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and FMCO,” he said.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said the pact in line with a long-standing goal between the two organisations.

“We aim to propagate, nurture and develop the SME business segment, and advance in providing financing-centric services towards catering to the entire SME ecosystem, achieved by enabling the Halal economy or platform,” he said.

Mohd Muazzam said Bank Islam was embarking on a five-year business strategic plan to address the unprecedented challenges brought upon by Covid-19.

The bank also aspires to be a champion in offering shariah environmental, social and governance (Shariah ESG).

NST Online