A Helping Hand for Halal SMEs

HDC-Bank Islam Launch RM100 Million GO Halal Fund (Go Halal SME Financing Program), Allocated to Assist Halal SMEs

The GO Halal Fund will assist Halal SMEs to facilitate the growth of Malaysia’s halal ecosystem

Local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now look forward to utilising a new financing facility called GO Halal Fund (Go Halal SME Financing Program) introduced in collaboration between Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC) and Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (Bank Islam).

With an initial RM100 Million in portfolio size, the GO Halal Fund primarily encourages more SMEs to embark into the Halal industry and to expand the Halal market.

Y.B. Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Minister, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), announced this new financing facility at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Bank Islam and HDC held earlier today.

Both parties will jointly promote and facilitate the participation and growth of Malaysia's Halal ecosystem, while concurrently embark on the SMEs digital transformation journey and capacity building initiatives.

Azmin said, "The timely introduction of the financing facility is a significant effort to assist SMEs to strengthen their business even while facing the adversities of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO) implementation beginning 1 June 2021 had also 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.

"The facility will assist SMEs in a better coordinated and structured format, concentrating on improving capacity building. With the introduction of the fund, approximately 300 local SMEs will benefit from the GO Halal Fund Program, 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 added.

He also urged other Islamic Financial Institutions to work with HDC in offering similar programs.

Apart from providing comprehensive package deals for HDC Members, including Halal certification training and Bank Islam's product bundling package to qualified SMEs, the 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.

Go Halal Fund or Go Halal SME Financing Program, and SMEXpert mobile app will complement HIP. HIP is a virtual Halal industry ecosystem populated by Malaysia's Halal industry stakeholders, including producers and service providers, Federal and State Governmental agencies, financial institutions, insurance providers and higher learning institutions. HDC will launch HIP during HDC’s World Halal Business Conference 2021 this September.

Hairol Ariffein Sahari, Chief Executive Officer of HDC, said, "Through this integrated service, local SMEs now have a wider viable platform that is all-inclusive to help them remain competitive, despite all the prevailing challenges facing many local businesses today. Currently, HIP has onboarding members of 2,200 and these companies are eligible to apply for the fund."

He added, "This should hopefully provide some relief to local SMEs severely impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and FMCO. It is also a perfect method for local businesses to start going digital and start tapping the larger Halal export markets, and participate in the nation's Halal digital transformation initiatives. More SMEs are encouraged to be HIP members to enjoy these facilities."

Mohd Muazzam Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Islam, said: "Towards becoming the Bank that advances prosperity for all and providing solutions that deliver value, the Bank is embarking on a 5-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) via its total financing solution by continuously pursuing traction in our lines of business channels through our five business drivers, which also includes Enterprises.

"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. As an Islamic banking and financial institution, it is only apt to play a more important role in catalysing the Halal economy by providing the means and to better equip industry players to navigate through challenging tides. By offering comprehensive Shariah-compliant financial solution to the market, Bank Islam strives to be the Islamic Bank of choice in the Halal industry."

He added that Bank Islam is honoured to partner with HDC in this collaboration. The development of a thriving Malaysian Halal industry is a long-standing goal between our two organisations. HIP members may apply for the GO Halal Fund starting from 1 July 2021 by registering at the HIP Microsite at https://hip.hdcglobal.com

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