WEDNESDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2019, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is making the efforts to diversify the export markets for Malaysian companies and one of the strategies adopted is by focusing on Tier 1 and 2 cities in various countries. This time around, the national trade promotion organisation is spearheading the participation of Malaysian companies in Toyama General Manufacturing Industry Trade Fair or T-Messe 2019 from 31 October 2019 to 2 November 2019.
Toyama is a manufacturing hub for machinery and electronic industries located 400km north of Tokyo in Chubu (central) region, facing the Japan sea. Ten Malaysian companies in various sectors such as Electrical & Electronics (E&E), Automotive, Machinery & Parts as well as Medical Devices will be showcasing their products and services to around 61 potential Japanese buyers.
During the event, MATRADE office in Tokyo will be arranging a series of B2B matching for the Malaysian companies. According to Director of China and East Asia Section at MATRADE, the initiative will expand Malaysia’s outreach beyond well-known cities namely Osaka and Tokyo. “Toyama being the manufacturing hub for machinery, E&E and automotive, will not only provide an opportunity for Malaysian companies to supply to the Japanese businesses but it will also give them an exposure on the manufacturing trends in Japan – a country that known worldwide for its technological capabilities,” Khairul Annuar said.
MATRADE's Trade Commissioner in Tokyo, Niqman Rafaee also mentioned, “this is our first time participating in T-Messe 2019 and we hope through this effort there will be stronger awareness on Malaysian capabilities among the Japanese. This mission is timely too, given the strong bilateral relations between Malaysia and Japan.”
However, for the period of January to August 2019, trade with Japan was valued at RM84.84 billion, registering a decrease of 3.9 per cent compared to the same period of 2018. Exports amounted to RM44.05 billion, a decline of 4.1 per cent due to lower exports of LNG, optical and scientific equipment as well as palm oil-based manufactured products. Increases in exports however were recorded for transport equipment, manufactures of metal, textiles, apparels and footwear as well as processed food.
“The decline was expected given the various economic challenges facing many countries this year, which may have affected the purchasing power of the Japanese buyers. Promotional efforts must be continued nonetheless, as such economic situation is cyclical. We need to ensure that Malaysian companies remain relevant the moment the economy picks up again,” Khairul shared.
MATRADE will continue to provide market access to Japan for Malaysian companies by connecting local Small and Medium Enterprises as well as Mid-Tier Companies with buyers and partners in Japan through various trade events and customised business matching. MATRADE has been in Japan since the early 1990’s and through its trade office in Tokyo, Malaysian companies get to acquire the market insights they need to venture into Japan.
“Every market around the world is very different and for the Japanese, trust is key. The business community there prefer to meet their potential suppliers face-to-face and with MATRADE being there, it helps adds up to the credibility of the Malaysian companies,” Khairul explained.