Bank officers must be equipped with biomass knowledge, says Biomass-SP

Malaysian banks must be equipped with more biomass-based knowledge workers to enhance small and medium enterprises” (SMEs) involvement in the rapidly-growing economic segment.

Technical Adviser to European Union-Malaysia Biomass Sustainable Production Initiative (Biomass-SP), Datuk Leong Kin Mun, said SMEs, mainly start-up entities, are facing problems securing funding to commercialise their proposals.

“The issue here is not that banks don”t want to fund biomass proposals, but they don”t have enough knowledge on biomass sub-segments.

“When a company goes to the bank, the bank officers say they are not aware of such products under biomass, so the company, without other choice, leaves the idea of commercialising,” he told reporters after the soft launch of the EU-Asia Biomass Best Practices and Business Partnering Conference 2012.

Leong said most Malaysian SMEs preferred bank loans as they were more manageable and the business will still be under a specific company”s control.

He said Biomass-SP plans to undertake initiatives to educate banking sector players on the importance of funding for start-up companies in the biomass sector.

“We plan to organise a capacity-building programme so that the banks will have a better understanding on how to accommodate and finance biomass projects,” he said.

After the conference on May 7-10, Biomass-SP plans to send a memorandum to the government as only the government through the Finance Ministry can ask Bank Negara to issue a statement to smaller banks, he added.

– BERNAMA

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