Published: Tuesday September 18, 2012 MYT 7:17:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday September 19, 2012 MYT 12:27:56 PM
SME productivity lags behind corporations, says Nor Mohamed
By JOSEPH SIPALAN
PUTRAJAYA: Despite the positive expansion of small and medium enterprises (SME), the productivity of the workers lags behind those in large corporations.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said SME workers contributed an average of RM58,000 in added value to their company's annual output in 2010, nearly 17% higher than the 2003 average of RM50,000 per annum.
Workers in large corporations, however, contributed an average of RM150,000 in added value to their employer's annual output in 2010, also a 17% improvement compared to their 2003 average of RM125,000 a year.
“In the case of bigger organisations, they have the advantage of size, critical mass, technology, so they have better productivity almost by definition,” he said after unveiling the 2011 SME census report here.
Nor Mohamed pointed out that it is not a zero-sum game for SMEs, though they will have to work on developing their own innovation and creativity to improve on output while the Government does what it can to help.
He said this was one of the reasons why the Government was investing heavily in major transportation projects such as the Klang Valley mass rapid transit (MRT) system.
"One aspect of productivity is also the traffic. When you are caught in a jam, productivity goes down.
"So when the Government spends so much money on transportation, basically at a very macro level this will increase productivity so that people don't have to be on the street.
"The journey between home and office should not take more than an hour and they will change their mode of transportation at most twice... this is the international definition of a good transportation system,” he said.
The census also found that nearly a fifth of some 650,000 SMEs in the country are owned by women, though the Government would like the figure to be higher.
Nor Mohamed noted that country should have more women play an active role in the nation's economy.
Based on the Statistics Department's 2011 preliminary census, just 4.4 million Malaysian women - less than half of the 9.6 million aged from 15 to 64 who are eligible to work - are part of the national workforce.
"We are not just looking at subsectors such as SMEs, but their overall representation in the economy is more important.
"The ratio of women in universities is 65%, but only 46% of those eligible are working,” he said.