KUALA LUMPUR: Participants of Malaysia External Trade Development Corp’s (Matrade) Bumiputera Exporters Development Programme (BEDP) and Women Exporters Development Programme (WEDP) have achieved export sales of RM40.53mil and RM38.25mil, respectively, in 2012.
Matrade chairman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said despite limited allocation, the Government agency involved in promoting export would select ten to 12 bumiputra-owned companies for the BEDP.
“We spend about RM1mil to RM2mil from Matrade’s operational funds on this programme,” she said at the graduation ceremony of the two programmes, which saw 27 companies from the BEDP and 17 companies from the WEDP graduating.
The programmes are part of the efforts by the Government to increase the export contribution from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the economy.
Noraini added that Matrade had allocated about RM100,000 per participating company, or three trade promotion events, under the programmes.
To date, 88 companies owned by women have been selected for the WEDP and 122 bumiputra-owned companies for the BEDP.
The three-year programme provides participants the opportunity to attend international trade missions, exhibitions, networking functions and seminars.
Matrade chief executive officer Datuk Dr Wong Lai Sum said the graduation was not the end of the road for these companies, as she hoped they would continue to engage Matrade in their future exporting endeavours.
“In 2014, we have planned 147 export and promotion activities and we hope they would participate in them,” she said.
To prepare the SMEs, Wong said they are exposed to local trade fairs such as the Malaysia International Halal Showcase and International Trade Malaysia.
Participating companies include those in the information and communications technology, food and beverage, oil and gas, and lifestyle sectors.
When asked on the challenges of exporting for the SMEs, Wong said getting certified and complying with international product requirements, including packaging requirements, remained the major challenge.
“These are (also) aspects we highlight in our workshop to prepare our SMEs for the export market,” she said.
The major export markets for the participants include Asean, the Middle East, China and Japan.
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