Press Releases 2020

Strengthening Malaysian Companies’ Competitiveness in The Global Market Amidst Covid-19 Recovery Period

MONDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2020, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) plans to engage with 13,000 Malaysian companies in 2021 through its Exporters Development (ED) and Export Promotion (EP) programmes, curated to build the global resilience of local companies, particularly in the post-COVID-19 recovery period.

MATRADE has outlined 334 programmes in 2021, 277 of which are ED and 57 are EP. The programmes are focused on the creation of more export champions in high-value sectors, the utilisation of digital platforms, inclusiveness, tapping on current market trends and forging strategic collaborations. The ED programmes, in particular, focus on equipping companies with the skills to develop a strategic advantage and promotes the values of sustainability as stipulated in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to MATRADE’s new Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, MATRADE will focus on helping Malaysian companies to penetrate international markets during these challenging times. In addition to providing updated market insights, MATRADE will virtually link foreign buyers with Malaysian companies through its 46 overseas offices worldwide.

Given the challenging state of the global economy, MATRADE, as the National Trade Promotion Agency, will ensure the competitive edge of Malaysian companies by empowering them with the right knowledge and market intelligence.

“The Year 2021 will see MATRADE doubling its efforts in engaging with digital tools to provide more business opportunities for Malaysian companies, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Mid-Tier Companies (MTCs). This will be carried out through strategic engagements with the Public and Private sector in Malaysia and abroad to identify new export opportunities in both conventional and emerging sectors,” Mustafa said.

MATRADE is set to continue adding value to its signature ED programmes namely eTRADE 2.0; Bumiputera, Women and Youth Exporters Development Programme (BWYEDP); Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP) and X-SEED. Complementing the ED programmes are various seminar and training programmes, as well as MATRADE’s signature conferences – namely National Export Day (NED). The ED programmes will take place all over Malaysia.

“Our engagements with companies will also be focusing on driving Malaysian SMEs and MTCs to be more prepared in areas such as Sustainability, Digital Transformation, Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Revolution 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence (AI),” Mustafa added. “All of these play significant roles in ensuring the companies’ success in international businesses,”

For Export Promotion (EP), a total of 57 programmes will be held throughout the year to enhance Malaysian companies’ export performance during the COVID-19 recovery period. The programmes will include participation in international trade fairs and trade missions (Export Acceleration Mission and Trade & Investment Mission). It also includes the International Sourcing Programme (INSP), Malaysia’s renowned business matching programme as well as eBizMatch, a virtual format of B2B pre-arranged meetings, which was introduced this year. Physical participation in the programmes will be dependent upon the latest developments on health and safety regulations throughout the year.

2021 EP programmes will focus on Malaysia’s key export sectors such as Food & Beverages, Services, Building Materials, Lifestyle, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Machinery & Equipment, Medical & Pharmaceutical, among others. Just over half (32 programmes) from EP will be held in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) economies namely Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam as well as Malaysia.

In addition to the roster of ED and EP programmes, MATRADE will be organising the 17th edition of Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) from 9 - 12 September 2021. The iconic trade event promotes Malaysia as the top sourcing platforms for Halal products and services worldwide. To ensure the global success of Malaysian companies, MATRADE will continue working closely with other relevant ministries, agencies, trade associations, chambers of commerce and private sectors.

Malaysian companies looking to participate in the programmes may contact MATRADE via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., MATRADE’s social media channels or visit for more details.


MATRADE Announced Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz as New Chief Executive Officer

THURSDAY, 24 DECEMBER 2020, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) announces the appointment of Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), following the retirement of Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa today. Mohd Mustafa will assume the new responsibility starting from 25th December 2020.

Mohd Mustafa, who was previously the Deputy CEO (Export Acceleration) of MATRADE, has extensive knowledge in international trade and has held various positions within the organisation including leading the markets of ASEAN & Australasia, China & North East Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia & Africa. He also led the Professional & Business Services section as well as the Mid-Tier Companies Development & SMEs Go-Ex section. He was also actively involved in various committees for trade and export development to the economic advancement of Malaysia.

He began his 30-year career in the civil service where he started in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department before joining MATRADE in June 1994, where he played integral roles in export promotions. His career highlights include serving 14 years abroad as a Trade Commissioner at MATRADE Paris, Dubai, Tokyo and as a Senior Trade Commissioner in New York and Dubai for the second time, where he accumulated extensive skills and experience in international trade.

He holds a Master Degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and a Bachelor Degree from Hawaii, USA. Passionate in initiating and leading change, strengthening operations, driving results and innovating, Mohd Mustafa is committed to transforming MATRADE by creating more value through collaborative efforts for both exporters and the respective stakeholders. He stated that even with the current challenging pandemic situation, we will continue not only to forge strategic partnerships with stakeholders in both private and public sectors but also to continue to connect Malaysian exporters with the global buyers.


MATRADE and ICBC (Malaysia) Forge Collaboration in Intensifying Market Access into China

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2020, KUALA LUMPUR: A virtual MoU signing ceremony between Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad (ICBC Malaysia) was held during the ‘Belt and Road Trade Fair’ in conjunction with the 3 rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on 6 November, 2020. The MoU was signed by YBhg. Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, Chief Executive Officer of MATRADE and Mr. Wang Qiang, Chief Executive Officer cum Managing Director of ICBC Malaysia.

The aim of the MoU is to formalize the cooperation of both parties to strengthen and develop Malaysia-China economic and trade development as well as cross border investment cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit.

According to Dato’ Wan Latiff, MATRADE welcomes the collaboration with ICBC Malaysia, adding that “this initiative will further improve the synergy between MATRADE and ICBC in creating a strong foothold for Malaysia in China particularly in implementing our trade promotion programmes, including business matching, trade advisory information, international business consultations, trade fairs and trade missions”.

The ‘Belt and Road Trade Fair’ were organised by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. More than 500 business representatives from 32 countries and regions participated in the business matching (physical & virtual) with 6 Malaysian companies participated in the online matching utilising the ICBC Business Match Making (BMM) Platform.

“In the current challenging period of doing business amid the global pandemic, MATRADE will continue to support and promote the bilateral trade and potential collaborations between Malaysia and China using multiple channels which include the ICBC Business Matchmaker (“BMM”) Platform. The platform is considered an excellent channel for Malaysian exporters to reach out to millions of ICBC’s clients not only China but also globally” Wan Latiff added.

In September 2020, trade with China contributed 19.8% to Malaysia’s total trade, recording an expansion of 21.5% year-on-year to RM30.85 billion. Exports to China sustained double digit growth for 4 consecutive months, surging by 41.9% to RM15.56 billion mainly on higher exports of E&E products, iron and steel products as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Imports from China expanded by 6.1% to RM15.29 billion.

On a month-on-month basis, trade, exports and imports recorded double digit growth of 11.4%, 11.3% and 11.4%, respectively.

Trade with China during the period of January to September 2020 grew by 3% to RM237.15 billion compared to the same period of 2019. Exports recorded double digit expansion of 13.3% to RM114.54 billion, boosted by higher exports of iron and steel products, other manufactures (SSD), manufactures of metal as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Imports from China decreased by 5.1% to RM122.61 billion.


17th MIHAS To Spur Innovation And Sustainable Growth For The Global Halal Economy

Kuala Lumpur, 17 November 2020 – The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has announced the return of the 17th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), which will take place from 9 th to 12th September 2021, at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), Kuala Lumpur. Organised by MATRADE under the patronage of Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, MIHAS is the largest Halal trade event of its kind in the world.

Making the announcement, MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, highlighted that Malaysia has long established a leading position as a global Halal player. “We also see opportunities driven by accelerated digitisation and changing consumer behaviours in the new normal and new world economy. The 17th MIHAS will place special emphasis on the agenda of helping local and international players look to innovation and sustainable initiatives to spearhead steady growth for the Halal economy.”

Aptly themed, “Empowering Halal, Tomorrow, Together”, the 17th MIHAS will serve as a timely opportunity for the industry to empower themselves in accelerating future growth through partnership, cooperation and collaboration. The Covid-19 global pandemic has shifted mindsets and ways of doing business which requires new business models. MIHAS will act as the overarching umbrella platform for halal businesses to cultivate resiliency, creativity and adaptability to succeed in a ‘new normal’ business landscape.

Additionally, this marquee Halal trade event aims to further expand Malaysia’s Halal economy agenda, steering the country towards the era of Industry 4.0 and fortify its role as the global Halal hub.

“As the largest gathering of Halal manufacturers, service providers, inventors, policymakers, financiers and investors, MIHAS is a robust marketplace for both international and local players to seize opportunities beyond Halal food including Halal pharmaceutical, medical devices, finance, modest fashion, personal care and cosmetics, green technologies and even Muslim-friendly tourism. MATRADE is committed to providing Malaysian companies greater access to the international markets,” added Dato’ Wan Latiff.

In addition, MATRADE announced the appointment of Qube Integrated Malaysia Sdn Bhd as the official event organiser for MIHAS for a period of five years, from 2021 to 2025.

Commenting on the appointment, Richard Teo, Group Managing Director of Qube Integrated Malaysia, said, “Malaysia is well on its way to becoming the heart of the global Halal economy and Qube Integrated Malaysia is proud to be given the opportunity to support MATRADE in strengthening Malaysia’s leadership in the Halal economy to the world. We are backed by a team of passionate event specialists dedicated to curate a platform for businesses in the Halal sector, from heavy-weight players, entrepreneurs, investors to young startups”.

The main highlights of the 17th MIHAS are interactive displays, live demos, workshops, online networking sessions and a series of business matching opportunities to serve its role as a high-value Halal sourcing platform that helps existing businesses expand into new areas, and to nurture young players by focusing on sustainable partnerships.

The Islamic Economy is a two-trillion-dollar market opportunity across a range of lifestyle products and services. It is projected to grow to USD3.2 trillion by 2024.

MIHAS has successfully attracted the attendance of over 404,000 participants including exhibitors, visitors and Halal services companies from more than 90 countries since its inception in 2004. The event has generated over RM17.2 billion in business leads since it first started in 2004.

Interested companies that wish to participate in the trade event may contact Ms Azlina Jane Zahri, Director of Sales & Marketing at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on the 17th MIHAS, please visit


Connecting Businesses Globally Through #MYAPEC2020 Exhibition

THURSDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2020, KUALA LUMPUR: The #MyAPEC2020 exhibition has amassed over 6,000 registered viewers on the online platform in just under 2 months since its commencement as the first-ever APEC exhibition of its kind.

Converting the exhibition from physical format into one that functions online entirely, was a direct response by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) to rapid digitalisation around the world, catalysed by the restrictions and social distancing guidelines put in place from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to MATRADE’s CEO, Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa, in order to successfully adapt to the new normal, Malaysian companies are urged to embrace technology and to conduct their business digitally. “MATRADE’s initiative to organise the #MyAPEC2020 Virtual Exhibition not only provides business opportunities for companies from Malaysia and other APEC economies to engage with foreign buyers, but also acts as a platform for them to adapt to virtual engagements”, he said.

Since its launch on 1 September 2020, over 300 buyers from 51 economies have registered in the platform, with the top 5 being Malaysia, Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Japan. The #MyAPEC2020 Exhibition is currently hosting over 300 companies comprising both Malaysian and international companies from APEC Member Economies. These companies promote products and services from 8 targeted sectors namely Healthcare, Green Tech & Energy, Professional & Business Services, Building Materials, Transport & Logistics, Lifestyle, Technology as well as Innovative F&B and Agrofood sectors.

The web-based exhibition platform includes features that create an immersive business environment such as Business Pitching - with 32 pitching sessions having been carried out, showcasing companies from all the targeted sectors. Viewers were provided the opportunity to contact the respective companies through real-time communications facilities during these sessions.

In addition, 34 Virtual B2B Meetings have so far been arranged between exhibitors and local buyers from Malaysia as well as with foreign buyers from the USA, Japan, China, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among others. The exhibition also hosts Webinars, having broadcasted 4 live presentations on key topics with chat features for participants to engage in Q&A.

“In view of the travel restrictions around the world where face-to-face meetings are limited, MATRADE would like to encourage more Malaysian companies to leverage on the B2B Meeting platform on #MyAPEC2020 Virtual Exhibition. Through this initiative, Malaysian exporters will be connected to international buyers that are interested to source product and services from Malaysia, arranged by 46 MATRADE overseas offices located all over the world,” Wan Latiff added.

MATRADE will continue to host the #MyAPEC2020 exhibition until 31 December 2020, serving as a business engagement platform for companies from APEC Member Economies to network among themselves and also with the global business community.


Updated by Corporate Communication Unit

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