WEDNESDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) plays its part in assisting the African countries by sharing its expertise in trade promotion to participants of Third Country Training Programme (TCTP). The programme which started from 28 October will end on 9 November 2018. It is jointly organised by MATRADE, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Japan International Cooperation Agency.
This year marks the fifth TCTP for MATRADE since 2013. This time around, eight participants who are government officials from Cameroon, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are taking part in the programme. Since the first participation (2013-2017), MATRADE has trained a total of 51 participants from 14 African countries. The two-weeks programme is specifically designed to mutually benefit the African countries and Malaysia, through sharing best practices on trade facilitation, visit to various government agencies as well as study visit to Malaysian companies to understand the ecosystem of trade development in Malaysia.
According to Datuk Aureen Jean Nonis, Senior Director of Strategic Planning Division of MATRADE, Malaysia has been building a friendly and beneficial relation with the African countries through our South-South Policy since the early ‘90s. “The TCTP is an ideal platform to fulfil the government’s commitment in strengthening the South-South Cooperation and enhancing economic cooperation between Malaysia and the African countries through knowledge empowerment,” she said.
In conjunction with the TCTP, MATRADE has also organised a seminar on “Exploring Business Opportunities in Africa”, on 1st November 2018, attended by 112 Malaysian exporters. The TCTP participants shared insights on doing business in various countries in Africa, business and investment opportunities as well as challenges in the market. The other highlight of the event was the sharing of experience by SMH Rail Sdn Bhd on doing business in Tanzania, Namibia and Zambia. At the end of the event, Malaysian companies had the opportunities to enhance their network with eight African delegates at a business networking session.
“There are ample opportunities for both Malaysian and African business community to expand their trade with each other. This initiative hopefully will further strengthen not only bilateral trade but friendship, investment and the people-to-people connectivity too, in the long run. All these are done through the development of knowledge and skills of the African future leaders attending the TCTP,” said Datuk Aureen Jean Nonis.
Malaysia’s trade with African continent as a whole expanded by 24.9 per cent from RM25.97 billion in 2016 to RM32.44 billion in 2017. The main exports to Africa were palm oil and its by-products, amounting to RM10.15 billion, approximately 48.6 per cent of the total exports to the region. Among other key exports from Malaysia to Africa include processed food, machinery, equipment & parts as well as petroleum products. The top trading partners from Africa include South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana.
MATRADE will continue to play a key role in promoting trade relations with the African markets. Currently, the organisation’s trade overseas offices in Africa are located in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Cairo which will help to match Malaysian companies with the African business partners. with relevant market information and business linkages as well as to link foreign buyers to the right Malaysian suppliers.