WEDNESDAY, 9 OCTOBER, MENARA MATRADE, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is taking a leadership role to champion adoption of sustainable practices among Malaysian companies in the export business by launching a Corporate Shared Values (CSV) programme called SUSTAINABILITY ACTION VALUES FOR EXPORTERS, or SAVE.
The CSV programme was launched today by Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of International Trade & Industry Hairil Yahri Yaacob on behalf of Minister of International Trade & Industry YB Datuk Darell Leiking. The objective of SAVE is to influence the adoption of sustainability practices based on United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among Malaysian exporters as a strategy to give them a strategic advantage in export. The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030 named AGENDA 2030. The SDGs address various global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, the UN is calling for all nations to achieve each Goal and target by 2030.
According to MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, there is a rapid rise in the awareness and adoption of sustainability around the world. “The global marketplace has now placed the sustainability agenda and responsible business as a key benchmark for trade transactions and it is inevitable that all players in such a marketplace to prepare themselves to be more responsible for the natural environment as well as for the safety and rights of all people involved, including customers, employees, vendors and the general public. Furthermore, it is imperative to demonstrate the adherence of good corporate governance, with the practice of integrity and ethics,” he said.
Echoing this message is Hairil. “In September 2016, Malaysia became signatory to AGENDA 2030, and with that we have resolved our commitment to work towards achieving the SDGs as a national priority. In fact, the principles of sustainability are already embedded in the 11th Malaysia Plan, RMK11 (2016-2020), and we can expect to expand on this when the 12th Malaysia Plan is released next year. From the perspective of international trade, the need for demonstrating sustainability has already become a requirement to be an effective player in the global supply chain. We will not only gain market access based on the compliance to sustainability, but are also at risk of being excluded from certain markets if our exporters fail to show compliance. As such, the SAVE Programme introduced today by MATRADE is very timely and must be actively
embraced by all Malaysian exporters.”
SAVE Programme, also in line with the recently launched Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, will be executed in phases and this year the Programme will be focusing on capacity building initiatives to address the low awareness on sustainability and responsible business among local exporters. “There is a need prepare Malaysian exporters with the knowledge and information they need so they can make a strategic and responsible decision in their sustainability practices. Additionally, we are also preparing our internal staff to be more exposed to areas of sustainability so they can provide the right guidance to Malaysian export community,” Wan Latiff shared.
At this juncture, MATRADE will be rolling out a series of high-powered engagements namely the National Export Day (NED) 2019 (themed Sustainability and Inclusiveness) on 24 October 2019, Sustainability-Ready Exporters (Su-RE) Conference on 19 November 2019 and the internal awareness campaign, MATRADE Goes Green Campaign, that has started last week. The NED expects the attendance of 1,000 participants while Su-RE is set to welcome 500 participants who are Small and Medium Enterprises and Mid-Tier Companies. The MATRADE Goes Green campaign meanwhile will rally all management and staff of MATRADE to think and act
MATRADE is collaborating with several key strategic partners to ensure the success of SAVE. These include Global Compact Network Malaysia - the Malaysian chapter of the United Nations Global Compact, and CIMB Islamic who will play an advisory role in the areas of sustainable financing, and on the adoption of business best practices in sustainability. CIMB Islamic is part of CIMB Group, which has prioritised sustainability as one of the key pillars in its current growth plan, and is fast establishing its corporate leadership in this space.
Moving forward, MATRADE in inviting any interested parties from both the public and private sector to reach out to MATRADE to collaborate via the SAVE Campaign. For more details on SAVE, visit www.matrade.gov.my.