Small and medium enterprises are the Back Bone of Malaysian Economy

Statistic on Malaysian SMEs

99.2% of enterprises established in Malaysia are SME and the majority of them are micro enterprises (less than 5 workers). SME in Malaysia is defined as enterprises in manufacturing sector with annual sales under 7 million USD and enterprises in service and agriculture sector with under 1.4 million USD. SME is also indicated through number of full-time employees. SME in manufacturing sector are those with less than 150 labors and less than 50 labors for service, agriculture sector.

sme definition
Image: Census of Establishments & Enterprises 2005

In Malaysia, business size is opposite to the number of them, micro business accounted for the largest part while large business is the minor. Among 552,804 established enterprises, only 1% are large size, and 99% left are SME. Micro enterprises accounted for the biggest proportion with 79%, after that is small sized company with 18% and ranking third is medium sized company accounted for 2%.

Main business sector

The there main sectors for SME in Malaysia are service, manufacturing and agriculture. Service is the most common, 87% of SME work in this sector. Manufacturing and agriculture accounted for 7% and 6% respectively.

Image: Census of Establishments & Enterprises 2005

Investigating into the service, 55.5% of the enterprises in this sector are wholesaler and retailer, 15.2% work in the field of restaurant and hotel, 6.5% are in communication business. For manufacturing sector, textiles and apparels attracted 23.4% of the enterprises, food and beverages enterprises accounted for 15%, business in metal and metal products was at 13%. In the agriculture sector, 65.6% of the enterprises in this field work in the division of plantation and horticulture, 20.8% work in fishery and its services activities, 7% are poultry farmer.

The 5th South East Asia Round Table Meeting, Hanoi 2010

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