Halal small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been urged to prepare for the new wave of business as the global digital economy comes of age.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Suhaimi Ab Rahman, deputy dean of Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Economics and Management Faculty (Research, Industrial Network and Society), said they need to be proficient in e-commerce business and the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in business.
“The data shows that only 20 per cent of Bumiputera SMEs are involved in the digital economy. This means Bumiputera SMEs including halal SMEs still lag far behind and need to act fast to enable them to be involved in the digital economy,” he said in Bernama’s THOUGHTS column on the www.bernama.com website.
He said government agencies such as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) are providing various digital economy-related training courses that interested SMEs can benefit from, adding entrepreneurs need to grab the opportunity to improve their ICT skills and competencies to enable them to work through digital platforms.
“The Halal Development Corporation is providing several halal training programmes while UPM’s Economics and Management Faculty organises the Halal Entrepreneur Development Programme in collaboration with QSR Brands (M) Bhd, to guide halal entrepreneurs to be more competent,” he said.
Suhaimi said COVID-19 has changed the economic environment by creating the need for contactless and cashless transactions, social distancing, and an emphasis on cleanliness and safety.
“COVID-19 has created a new atmosphere in business. During the Movement Control Order (MCO), Conditional MCO and now Recovery MCO, most businesses have been using digital technology for their business,” he said.
He said Malaysians should adhere to every standard operating procedure in their daily activities and accept that the COVID-19 pandemic is a test from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) that enjoins His followers to reflect on and improve their weaknesses for their own well-being in this world and the hereafter.
When announcing the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) on June 5, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin said RM25 million will be allocated to MDEC for the Global Online Workforce (GLOW) programme which will train Malaysians to earn income online from international clients.