TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade promotion organisation, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), celebrated the contributions of Malaysian exporters at its iconic Export Day 2018. The celebration is high time given the exceptional trade performance reported for Malaysia in the first 11 months of 2017, where the total value of trade, exports, imports and trade balance had surpassed the whole performance of 2016. The event, taking place at Menara MATRADE, marked the beginning of MATRADE’s 25th year Anniversary celebration, and is themed as ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Export Excellence’.
In the first eleven months of 2017, Malaysia’s total trade amounted to RM1.622 trillion, grew by 20.8 per cent compared with the same period of 2016. Exports totaled to RM856.05 billion, surged by 20.4 per cent and imports stood at RM766.07 billion, up by 21.2 per cent. A trade surplus of RM89.98 billion was recorded, higher by 13.6 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2016. Much of these achievements were driven by various efforts from the Government and the private sector.
Apart from appreciating the efforts by local companies in driving Malaysia’s trade, the Export Day 2018 was organised to inform local companies the latest export opportunities around the world, strategies to win global market demands, current issues in international trade, MATRADE’s services to Malaysian companies as well as MATRADE’s programmes throughout 2018.
Export Day 2018, which kickstarted a long list of activities planned for MATRADE’s Silver Jubilee celebration, was launched by YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI). He was accompanied by Ir. Dr. Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros, MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer. The event was attended by more than 1,000 participants who are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Mid-Tier Companies (MTCs), Large Companies, Multinational Companies, Government-Linked Companies, Start-Ups, Venture Capitalists, Government Agencies and business students.
The event featured two panel sessions titled as ‘The Export Journey’ and ‘The Future of Export’, with speakers from prominent exporting companies namely Eversendai Corporation Berhad, Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd, edotco Group Sdn Bhd (Axiata), Perfect Food Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd (Julie’s), IX Telekom Sdn Bhd, Bon Zainal Menswear, LH Plus Sdn Bhd and Streamline Studios (M) Sdn Bhd. The speakers from the companies shared their experiences in export and how they embraced the global challenges to remain competitive in the international arena. The panelists also discussed the prospects of exporting in view of the constant changes in global economies and demands from emerging sectors as well as the world’s emerging markets.
According to Ir. Dr Mohd Shahreen, Export Day 2018 was an embodiment of MATRADE’s effort to create a conducive platform for the Malaysian business community to congregate and network and relish upon each other’s experiences in global business and entrepreneurship.
“It is crucial for the local business fraternity to meet so they can compare notes and most importantly identify what are the things they could do differently to help them become an export champions. All export champions started small and for them to emerge and succeed amidst various challenges in the world, catering to demands from millions of people, that is something useful for us to learn from,” he said.
Apart from panel sessions, MATRADE awarded outstanding Malaysian companies that have excelled overseas through the MATRADE Export Award (MEA). The winners were selected by a panel of judges who comprised representatives from MITI, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and MATRADE. The MEA was introduced to encourage more Malaysian companies to go beyond borders and embark on exporting. 30 winners were selected under 10 categories for Products and Services by SMEs, MTCs, Large Companies, Bumiputera, Women and Youth Companies as well as MNCs.
During the Export Day 2018, the announcement on MATRADE’s 397 programmes planned for this year was also made. The programmes announced are targeted to boost Malaysian companies’ capability and market access around the world. These programmes include Export Promotion (46 programmes), Exporters Development (280 programmes), Exporters Training (44 programmes) and Collaborative Initiatives (27 programmes).
“Over the 25 years of existence, MATRADE’s work programmes are to ensure Malaysian companies not only obtain market access but the necessary knowledge and export skills to succeed abroad. Through the programmes, we have been able to link them with potential foreign buyers and partners. MATRADE’s Exporters Development Programmes are also being executed to provide customised facilitations to Malaysian exporters,” Ir. Dr. Mohd Shahreen said.
Complementing the agenda was MATRADE Industry Communication Session where over 50 info counters by various agencies, local media houses and the Sector and Market Desks within MATRADE were showcased. Similar to an open day concept, the Industry Communication Session allowed Malaysian businesses to reach out to various parties that are relevant to their needs, all under one roof.
MATRADE is the country’s trade promotion agency that was established in 1993. It was given a mandate to position Malaysia as a globally competitive trading nation as well as to develop local companies to be successful exporters. MATRADE supports and promotes the internationalisation efforts of Malaysian companies with the broad goal of increasing exports. It is responsible for implementing strategic initiatives in line with the needs of local industries as well as to drive trade to benefit the nation’s economy and ultimately the Rakyat.