Malaysian exporters not backing down as upward trend continues

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian exporters are recording an upward trend, despite the current global situation.

The quality of this year’s submissions for the Star Media Group Bhd’s Export Excellence Awards (EEA) are a testament as to how exporters are finding strategic ways to grow their exports.

Chief judge of EEA 2023 Datuk Joseph Lim said that it was good to see companies recovering from the pandemic as most recorded positive growth. To him, “this shows Malaysian entrepreneurs are fighters, innovative as well as transformative.”

The Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce vice-president reminded that when it came to strategies for success, companies do need to be innovative as without it, they can neither move forward nor improve.

He commended companies that are actively embracing digitalisation and automation, driving Malaysia towards a future characterised by a “skilled workforce while decreasing the reliance for foreign labour”.

As a returning judge of EEA, Lim advised that companies who intend to submit for next year’s awards to consider including elements of environmental, social and governance (ESG) in their submission, seeing as it is crucial for exporters.

“Only a handful of companies have currently embraced ESG. I hope to see a growing commitment among exporters to be ESG-compliant as together, we can propel Malaysia towards a more sustainable future.”

Chief judge Rizal Abdul Rahman also commended the notable year-on-year growth achieved by the companies, having reviewed this year’s submissions.

“Taking into account the overall sentiment of the market, and what could be viewed as a rather shallow trajectory of the road to recovery, it is still admirable to discover the level of success these companies managed to achieve.”

He added that it was quite insightful to learn the varied strategies implemented by these companies not only to drive export growth but also to sustain and expand business within those markets, “from navigating the rough waves of adversity to the creative methods of increasing productivity.”

What was also interesting was the halal category of the awards, particularly the number of halal exports, according to the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce (KLMCC) deputy-president.

“Given Malaysia’s established brand of Halal in the global market, and in line with the Halal Industry Master Plan 2030 to make Malaysia the global leader in the halal industry, the encouraging figures signify a collective commitment within the industry in answering to this call of action,” said Rizal, who is also a returning judge.

Malaysia Retail Chain Association council member Datuk Alex Wong was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the applicants of this year’s awards with top contenders coming neck and neck.

“There were several categories that boasted exceptionally strong candidates with scores very close to one another. Competition was fierce.”

Beyond the parameters of the judging criteria, Wong emphasised the significance of delving into the company’s narrative - its history, resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and strategies employed during the recovery process.

“While a company’s profile is important, their strategic business expansion plans for sustaining and advancing forward is an equally important key factor when evaluating the submissions,” said the EEA chief judge.

The first round of judging took place online whereupon nine judges from across industries, and an accumulated wealth of experience and knowledge, came together to evaluate the submissions for EEA 2023.

The other judges who participated in this first round of judging for EEA 2023 were Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Thirunaukarasu Muthayam, Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association’s Andrew Chan, Malaysian International Chamber Of Commerce and Industry’s Parthiban Muniandy, MRCA’s Michael Liew, KLMCC’s Norhisham Abdul Mutalib and The Electrical and Electronics Association of Malaysia’s Lim Sai Seong.

Winners of EEA 2023 will be announced at the Export Excellence Awards Gala Night, to be held in January 2024.

The EEA 2023 is organised by Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered Malaysia and PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd as a co-sponsor, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp as patron, and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp as technology partner. It is audited by BDO.

For more information on EEA 2023, go to or email

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