Catalyzing Active Roles For Malaysian SMEs in International Trade

WEDNESDAY, 19 DECEMBER 2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) announced its Work Programme 2019 today providing a glimpse into the trade opportunities available around the world for Malaysian businesses in helping them be more competitive globally.

The set of programmes developed by MATRADE for 2019 includes both Exporters Development and Export Promotion activities. These initiatives will serve as catalyst to help Malaysian companies grow their businesses organically by improving market access as well as introducing Malaysia-made and designed products and services to the global markets.

Some 98 per cent of businesses registered in Malaysia are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) contributing significantly to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and also employing some 65 per cent of the Malaysian workforce. However, despite this significant space in the Malaysian economic sphere, the contribution of our SMEs in export is relatively small – with less than 18 per cent. Similarly, the local Mid-Tier Companies (MTCs) comprise one per cent of Malaysian business establishments but contribute about 30 per cent to Malaysia’s GDP. However, the current export growth of these MTCs stood at 6.8 per cent and there is plenty of room for improvements.

“The Work Programme 2019 aims to push the contribution of Malaysian SMEs and MTCs in export. The Malaysian economy depends on international trade and the SMEs and MTCs are the backbone of the economy. Their improved participation in export will definitely benefit our economy,” MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer Ir. Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros mentioned.

For 2019, MATRADE will be organising 477 programmes comprising both Exporters Development and Export Promotion activities. The Exporters Development activities include hand-holding programmes (Go-Ex Programme and Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme), customised programmes (Bumiputera, Women and Youth Exporters Programme and eTRADE Programme), training and workshops as well as outreach events. Export Promotion programmes include trade fairs, trade missions (Trade & Investment Mission and Export Acceleration Mission), global sourcing and business matching (International Sourcing Programme).

The global trade promotion programmes will be focused on Malaysia’s key trading partners namely ASEAN, European Union, Northeast Asia, West Asia and Americas. The programmes will highlight Malaysia’s key export sectors such as Electrical & Electronics, Oil & Gas, Construction, Machinery & Equipment, Services, Halal & Food and Beverages, Lifestyle, Medical & Pharmaceutical and Automotive. Emerging and high-innovation industries such as Gaming, Animation, Fashion and Aerospace will also be given due emphasis. Other enablers by MATRADE are in the form of financial facilitation namely Market Development Grant and Services Export Fund.

The programmes are being designed to be more strategically focused to best match opportunities available in the world markets as well driving the new opportunities that are envisioned by the various regional and bilateral Free Trade Agreements undertaken by Malaysia.

The thinking behind the Work Programme is also focused on riding on the nation’s inherent strengths as a preferred nation for the world to do business with due to ease of doing business. “The nation is riding on the back of a tumultuous period of national transformation in 2018 within a tough global economic environment. As we move into 2019, we must be prepared for the strategic shifts that will be effected by the impact e-commerce, Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Big Data and Digital Transformation. All of this will have a strong bearing on how international trade is realised, particularly in the international supply chain system as well as shifts in financial transaction platforms,” Mohd Shahreen shared.

In Malaysia, MATRADE will continue to organise its iconic trade event Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2019 which is the world’s top sourcing platform for halal products and services. Complementing this is partnerships with world’s iconic trade events organised in Malaysia such as Malaysia International Furniture Fair, Export Furniture Exhibition, Semicon South East Asia, Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week and many more.

Moving into 2019, MATRADE will play a leadership role in coordinating the export promotion activities by other government agencies and the private sector. A plan is currently underway to address this and in making sure the various export promotion activities are streamlined and generate the best possible outcomes.

Updated by Corporate Communication Unit

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