IN SPITE of the Covid-19 pandemic and global challenges, a trade and investment mission led by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali from April 1 to 6 was successful in intensifying efforts to grow international business.
Deals worth a total of RM986.15mil related to export were reported during the mission.
Such missions, which connect with major buyers and investors, are an effective form of high-level bilateral engagement.
Senior officials can help push for international business deals, delivering more exports for Malaysian companies and promoting Malaysia’s brand name.
During the recent mission, business discussions on sourcing of products and services were organised with premium buyers and leading companies in both South Korea and Japan.
About RM70mil of exports in products and services to South Korea were reported as a result of meetings with buyers from the country.
Some of the highlights included one meeting with a major retailer of South Korea, GS Retail, which operates more than 15,000 convenience stores and 289 supermarkets with products available online and offline.
In the meeting led by Mohamed Azmin, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, commitment to triple up sourcing of food products and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) by GS Retail was discussed and agreed.
Follow-up meetings between Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and GS Retail have been organised to determine specific Malaysian suppliers who can meet the sourcing requirements of GS Retail.
In line with the development of the creative industry, a meeting was held with Moggozi Co Ltd.
This Korean company has co-produced with Malaysian partners and distributed some of Malaysia’s animation productions.
As for Japan, meetings were held with major “sogo sosha” or general trading companies in Japan, such as Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui & Co.
Commitments were made to increase sourcing from Malaysia for FMCG, palm oil, halal products and services as well as chemicals and chemical products.
In addition to the meetings with Japan’s major trading companies, business exchanges were also held with Daiso, a popular operator of 100yen shops which carry a wide range of household items.
Internationally, Daiso operates 5,741 stores in 26 countries, of which more than half are in Japan.
A follow-up with Daiso has been arranged by Matrade to give Malaysian exporters an opportunity to supply more Malaysian products.
Currently, about 160 stock-keeping units of Malaysian products are available in Daiso outlets in Japan.
The Japanese buyers were very encouraging with the commitment to purchase from Malaysia over the next 24 months, amounting to RM916.15mil in export value.
During the mission, Matrade also signed a memorandum of cooperation with Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) to strategically strengthen Malaysia’s trade promotion cooperation with Japan in areas such as halal, ICT, e-commerce and digital transformation.
The signing was witnessed by Mohamed Azmin and Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama.
It signified Matrade’s and Jetro’s dedication to build and strengthen bilateral and trade relations between Malaysia and Japan.
Matrade chief executive officer Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz said: “South Korea and Japan are two major markets in Asia for Malaysian companies.
“The trade and investment mission was very fruitful as it adds to the interest in cultivating bilateral relations between Malaysia and South Korea as well as Japan.
“Matrade is focused on collaborating with Malaysian exporters to help drive their export sales as part of our efforts in economic recovery.”