Sharing best practices at EEA soiree

(From left) Tio, Yeow, Isham, Mak and Mohd Mustafa posing for a picture at the Export Excellence Awards Soiree photowall at Willow, W Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

AS cliche as it sounds, it does ring true that goals are achieved when people work at it together rather than doing it in silo.

With that in mind, the Export Excellence Awards (EEA) 2023 got off to an inspiring start with a soiree; its mission to bring people together to forge a stronger path in the export industry.

Past winners of EEA, partners and sponsors convened at Willow, a semi-fine-dining restaurant and bar at W Hotel in Kuala Lumpur for the soiree – a welcome mid-week respite over flavourful food and even better conversations.

infoboxinfoboxThe atmosphere was one of nostalgia and hope. Familiar faces greeted one another like old friends, with bursts of laughter and excitement as they regaled each other with stories while new alliances were forged in quiet tones.

Star Media Group (SMG) chief executive officer Alex Yeow expressed hope that the attendees would take advantage of the soiree to get to know each other better, learn from one another and build more meaningful connections and collaborations.

“We believe that by bringing great people together, we can collectively achieve even greater things, and that’s why we partnered with some of the leading organisations across various industries and the government for EEA,” he said in his welcome speech.

At the soiree, Yeow together with EEA partner Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia chief executive officer Mak Joon Nien presented a memento to Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) secretary-general Datuk Seri Isham Ishak, who was the guest of honour.

A dialogue session was held soon after, with Isham offering insights to the export industry, Miti’s strategies and future plans while Mak moderated the session.

Guests were then treated to the delicate culinary creations of Willow’s head chef Timothy Wang who took inspiration from cuisines across the globe. Wang was present to demonstrate how these dishes were created, much to the delight of the guests.

Reflecting on the event, Mak believes social engagements such as the soiree to be beneficial to many, especially participants of the Awards.

“It is through networks with established and successful exporters, like the EEA alumni, that participants can leverage on the advantages of receiving insights, sharing of best practices and gaining a better understanding of the financial instruments that are available to help expand their business beyond borders.”

He added that as a leading trade bank, Standard Chartered had a crucial role to play in enhancing participation in global trade by making it more accessible, transparent and secure.

Being a proud patron of EEA for the fourth consecutive year, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz reiterated their continuous commitment to assist in promoting and developing Malaysia’s exports to the global market.

“The increasing number of Malaysian exporters indicates that there is a large potential for export opportunities.

“In the quest for internationalisation, we are here to offer various support to further expand Malaysian brands to position themselves in the eyes of the world,” said Mohd Mustafa.

When asked about the importance of fostering international trade networks, PKT Logistics group chief executive and managing director Datuk Seri Michael Tio believes that it is pertinent for businesses to gain market access on a global front as it allows for bigger expansion on a more competitive level-playing field.

“Trade events and exhibitions provide an avenue for relationship-building face to face, and that helps to build trust as well.

“I say this because when you have such interactions, there is a lot of potential for businesses to uncover mutually beneficial opportunities from both or more sides, thereby encouraging strategic partnerships that will not only contribute to economic growth but also benefit more consumers,” he said.

The EEA 2023 is now open for submissions. Nominations close on Oct 19. The Export Excellence Awards 2023 is organised by Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered Malaysia, with PKT Logistics as a co-sponsor and Matrade as patron. The Awards is audited by BDO.

For more information on EEA 2023, go to or email

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