Greater financial literacy will boost exports, says Guan Eng

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng at the Literacy in Financial Technology Festival in Putrajaya today.

PUTRAJAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today reminded small business owners of the importance of financial literacy and digitalisation as the first step towards exporting their products.

Adding that improving financial literary is part of the government’s plan to nurture a digital society, he said much work remains to be done at the grassroots level.

“It’s very important that people understand not only financial literacy but also how to go online and market their products,” he said after closing the Literacy in Financial Technology Festival here.

“We want to encourage foreigners to buy our products, but if we want to export, we have to go online.

“We’ve got to start with the grassroots and ordinary people and work our way up to SMEs, and that has to be our first target.”

According to Lim, financial literacy in the country is only at about 50%.

He also said the digital economy contributed 18.5% to the gross domestic product last year. The figure is expected to exceed 21% in 2022.

The country’s digital economy was worth RM267.7 billion in 2019, according to the Department of Statistics.

Lim also spoke of the government’s plan to give Malaysians a one-off RM30 credit for e-wallets as a way to promote digital payment systems and push towards a cashless society.

The government has allocated RM450 million for the e-Tunai Rakyat e-wallet initiative, which will be rolled out on Jan 15. The scheme is only open to Malaysians above the age of 18 who earn less than RM100,000 per year.