FRIDAY, 20 JULY 2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) facilitates the participation of 40 Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the 4th IMT-GT & BIMP-EAGA Trade Fair 2018 which started yesterday until 22 July 2018 in an effort to push Malaysian SMEs expansion in ASEAN growth areas.
The event that takes place at Hatyai in Songkhla is set to expose the Malaysian SMEs to the export opportunities in Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) economic area.
Held biennially and hosted by the BIMP-EAGA & IMT-GT member countries on a rotational basis, the trade fair is one of the biggest exhibition platforms in the sub-regional area, where ASEAN business community gathers to promote and market their products and businesses as well as exchange new trends and knowledge on emerging technology.
The IMT-GT is a sub-regional cooperation initiated in 1993 by the governments of Malaysia , Indonesia and Thailand to accelerate the economic transformation in less developed states and provinces of the three countries. Meanwhile, the BIMP-EAGA initiatives were launched in 1994 to accelerate the economic development in areas that are geographically distant from their national capitals, yet in strategic proximity to each other. BIMP-EAGA area in one of the world's most resource regions that includes the Heart of Borneo and Sulu-Sulawesi Marine ecoregion.
Among the initiatives planned during the trade fair, include business meetings, networking session and a seminar on Business Opportunities in Halal & Logistics in the ASEAN region. The key sectors showcased at the event are food & beverages, agriculture products, lifestyle & personal care, healthcare, green technology and tourism-related services.
According to MATRADE’s ASEAN & Oceania Section’s Director YM Raja Badrulnizam Raja Kamalzaman, IMT-GT & BIMP-EAGA Trade Fair 2018 is an ideal platform to bridge Malaysian companies with the ASEAN counterparts apart from championing the bilateral relationship of Malaysia with ASEAN member countries. “Malaysian SMEs must take the opportunity to explore ASEAN as proximity is not an issue and connectivity among the countries has improved tremendously over the years. There are various pockets of opportunities for Malaysian exporters to fill with a market size of 620 million people and MATRADE with its eight offices in ASEAN is ready to provide on-the-ground insights for Malaysian SMEs to ready themselves,” he said.
ASEAN remains one of Malaysia’s key trading partners. In the period of January to May 2018, trade with ASEAN stood at RM204.23 billion with export at RM115.32 billion and import RM88.91 billion. Top performing markets within ASEAN for Malaysia are Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines.