MCCC calls on govt to prioritise lowering loan interest rates for SMEs

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) told the government to prioritise lowering loan interest rates or supporting loan repayments for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

MCCC president Loo Kok Seong highlighted that the move could assist SMEs grappling with cash flow challenges following the post-pandemic recovery.

"Even though the government is concerned about the development of SMEs and offers appropriate support, some medium-sized enterprises still require larger funds to invest in technology and machinery to keep improving their operation.

"Technology and equipment updates are essential to enhance their competitiveness in the global market by highlighting local products' quality and price advantages.

"SMEs should receive stronger support for better economic recovery through the coordinated efforts of various government departments," he said in a statement today.

Loo also suggested that the government regularly update the public regarding preferential policies and the application success rate of public assistance programmes for SMEs.

He said Malaysia had approved an investment totalling RM 225 billion for the first nine months of this year, setting the best record for the same period in the past ten years.

"We hope the government will make persistent efforts to simplify the investment approval process on this basis.

"The federal government, state government and all local units should work closely and coordinate to ensure consistent policies and reduce bureaucracy or red tape to promote more investments into the market," he said.

While Malaysia focused on developing the digital economy, Loo said network security issues must be addressed seriously to consolidate and improve the confidence of public and business sectors.

"Only in a safe and reliable network environment can we all better promote the development of the digital economy and create more opportunities for national economic cooperation," he said.

Commenting on another issue, Loo applauded the 30-day visa-free initiative for tourists from China, India and several Middle Eastern countries, saying that it would boost the economy and development of the tourism industry.

However, he suggested that the government strengthen the efficiency of entry checkpoints.

"At the same time, politicians are advised not to make excessive and sensitive remarks that will affect the interest and confidence of tourists," he said.

Loo also expressed the MCCC's anticipation for collaboration with the government to strengthen economic and trade ties between Malaysia and China in the upcoming year.

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