Najib Launches Digital Finance Infrastructure For ASEAN SMEs

20 November 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today launched the Growth Accelerator Exchange (GAX), a digital platform to cater for the financing needs of ASEAN Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

An initiative of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), GAX will provide a digital finance infrastructure for SMEs in addressing their problems of limited access to finance.

ABAC chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid said the GAX would provide SMEs with easy and accessible tools to navigate and overcome challenges that limit their ability to grow as a business.

“ABAC’s mission is to make real, ASEAN’s vision of accelerating economic growth, and achieve social progress. Today’s launch of the GAX is critical and a real first step to driving ASEAN SMEs access to finance and growth,” he said at the launch of the GAX here today.

He said details of the platform would be announced later.

Powered by Silverlake Axis Ltd’s financial technology solutions, the GAX will be first made available in Malaysia, and subsequently to certain other ASEAN countries over the course of 2016.

SMEs are the backbone of the ASEAN economy, making up to 96 per cent of registered businesses and employing up to 97 per cent of the working population in ASEAN member states.

They also contribute up to 85 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of countries in the region.

Earlier, Najib also presented the 2015 ASEAN Business Awards Malaysia to eight companies which reached a benchmark for best-in-class corporate standards.

Among the recipients were DRB-Hicom Bhd for the automotive category, AirAsia Bhd (aviation) and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd (rubber-based).

ASEAN is a 10-member grouping comprising Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

It is also home to more than 630 million people and currently the world’s seventh largest economy.