MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2020, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has introduced the guidelines of Market Development Grant (MDG) for online export promotions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new guidelines will allow SMEs to claim certain expenses for participation in virtual trade events to promote exports starting from 1 July 2020.
Under these new guidelines, eligible companies can apply for reimbursable grant for activities under the two (2) categories, namely virtual international trade fairs and virtual trade promotion missions where Business to Business (B2B) meetings are organised. The MDG, introduced in 2002, aims at assisting Malaysian SME exporters’ to promote Malaysian products and services as well as enhance product branding in the international markets.
Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer said, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the way international business is conducted and leveraging on the digital platforms has become a new normal. “Travel restrictions imposed by most of the countries around the world to contain the spread of COVID-19 has expedited the transformation into digitalisation among the businesses to conduct export promotions. Virtual trade shows, business pitching, B-2-B meetings and webinars have become alternatives to physical events. MATRADE have organised various buyer-seller engagements via digital platforms to ensure that Malaysian companies have access to the international buyers even during the travel restriction periods” he added.
He further urged Malaysian exporters, to be well-versed and well-prepared to join this fast emerging export promotion methods. With the improvement to MDG’s guidelines, Dato’ Wan Latiff hopes that SMEs will actively participate in the virtual business events and ensure that their presence in the international market continue to be felt. This is in line with the recently announced PENJANA package as Malaysia enters into the recovery mode to propel forward the nation’s economic growth.
Cumulatively, MDG has benefitted 23,457 companies since it was launched. The MDGembodies the Government’s serious intention to bring Malaysian companies into globalmarkets. Based on the MDG survey conducted in 2019, more than 92% of SMEs believed thisprogramme played significant role in their export initiatives while 89% said that MDG led to anincrease in export sales.