Recent initiatives by the state government and investPenang to encourage the growth of local entrepreneurship and SMEs are beginning to show results. The reliance on FDI and MNCs, it has been realised, has to be complemented by the growing of local enterprises with the potential to go global.
SMEs or small and medium enterprises are defined differently in different countries. In Malaysia, they are defined according to sales turnover and employment. A 2011 survey on the industrial sector in Penang shows that SMEs (defined in the survey as enterprises with full-time employees not exceeding 150) account for 88% of the manufacturing and manufacturing-related services establishments in Penang and 26% of the total employment in the sector.
Nevertheless, when it comes to helping local companies grow, the Penang state government assumes that all local start-ups and companies that require assistance and are not listed on the Bursa Saham Malaysia are SMEs.
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