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 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) is setting aside RM200 million between 2018-2020 to fund an expected 120 companies.

MIDF managing director Datuk Mohd Najib Abdullah said the launch of the MIDF-MAI Industry 4.0 development programme will help spur growth of automotive parts and components manufacturers.

“Through this strategic collaboration, MIDF's role is to provide financial assistance via our soft loan schemes,” he told reporters at the signing ceremony of MIDF-Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI)  strategic partnership here, today.

Also present were International Trade and Industry Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak and MAI chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari.

Mohd Najib said MIDF had assisted the automotive sector by financing RM544.8 million through 144 loans since 1966, and assisted 10,598 local companies with total loans approved of RM13.9 billion since its inception.

“Our financing facilities focus on business expansion, encouraging automation and reducing dependency on human labour, as well as reducing the costs of business operations.

“MIDF's financial assistance programme is aimed at establishing or expanding businesses involving the acquisition of fixed assets such as land for the construction of industrial and commercial buildings, ready-built industrial or commercial buildings, plant, machinery and equipment, as well as provision of working capital requirement,” he said.

Mohd Najib said the financing would provide avenue for local companies to be able to compete competitively with its low financing rates of 4 per cent per annum for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with highest financing repayment of up to 10 years for machinery or equipment financing with grace period of up to three years.

With the available assistance, he said local SMEs would be able to enhance their capacities and competitiveness by utilising state-of-the-art machinery and equipment.

Mohd Najib also said it is important that local SMEs embrace various aspects of Industry 4.0 in their production and deliver accordingly to build on customer loyalty.

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