Learning it all from industry giants

GEORGE TOWN: Industry giants shared a wealth of knowledge with visitors to the Export Excellence Awards (EEA) Roadshow on how to excel at exporting goods and services out of Malaysia.

From assessing geopolitical risks to currency fluctuations, how to get a good overseas partner and use banking products for smooth cross-border transactions, roadshow visitors got practical views about going international.

Even better was a discussion on the US-China trade war, from which Malaysia has become a beneficiary.

“We see Malaysia benefiting from a shifting of manufacturing bases, especially from China,” revealed panellist Kuan Eu Jin, who is group chief marketing officer of PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd.

Kuan said since over a year ago, the logistics house received many enquiries from China about setting up bases in Malaysia.

“We recently signed up a new client who is building a regional distribution centre here,” he said.

Standard Chartered’s economist for Asia, Jonathan Koh, in his overview on the global market outlook, revealed how Malaysia has been the third largest beneficiary, after Vietnam and Mexico.

Koh, however, pointed out that the trade war was still undesirable because it impedes global gross domestic product growth.

“We expect a moderation in global growth of 3.6% this year, just as last year, but not a sharp slowdown.

“We are less pessimistic because of lower oil prices, a dovish US and stabilising China growth expectations, helped by the US-China trade war truce,” he added.

Federal Oat Mills executive director Michael Chew, who was a panellist in a discussion titled Critical Aspects for Exporters, reminded the audience to keep watch on geopolitical and foreign currency risks.

“Take a longer term perspective when you are looking at exporting to a certain country of five to 10 years,” he advised.

Fellow panellist, Linaco Manu­facturing (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Joe Ling, urged businesses to seek out banks with global outreach and logistics houses with proven track record if they are not versed in international banking and logistics.

Moderating the panel was IRC Group of Companies chief executive officer Michael Heah.

Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation deputy director Md Zainuddin A. Jalil, in his talk, showed a range of grants and incentives that companies could tap into as they move into the global playing field.

The audience came from over 100 SMEs in Penang, which are potential participants of EEA to vie for the honour and recognition of being a leader in the export arena.

Launched in December, EEA will confer awards in seven categories: electronics and electrical; oil and gas; chemical, mineral and alloy; agriculture; machinery, equipment and automation; other industries; and services.

There are also special awards for halal products and exporter of the year.

The prime speaker of the roadshow held at Lexis Suites Penang in Teluk Kumbar was SMT Technologies Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Alex Kang Pang Kiang, who shared his story of how the Sungai Petani company went from being a printed circuit board maker to a one-stop vertical integration solutions provider.

Kang recounted an era when his company was solely a printed circuit board maker, and “nobody liked to see us because we only had one process”.

“So we changed. Vertical integration is common, so we went beyond that. We call ourselves ‘VI+’, because some customers even want us to do distribution,” he said.

Organised by Star Media Group Bhd and Standard Chartered, the next EEA roadshow, with another array of industry leaders sharing their wisdom, will be held in Petaling Jaya on April 30.

As Malaysia’s first and oldest bank, Standard Chartered recognises the importance of Malaysian businesses growing beyond the domestic market. It provides this programme as a platform for exporters to showcase their capabilities and global potential.

Admission to the Petaling Jaya EEA Roadshow is free and companies can sign up at www.exportawards.com.my, which also contains details on participating in the awards. Awards submission closes on Aug 2.


Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered launched the inaugural Export Excellence Awards 2019, with PKT Logistics as co-sponsor and Matrade as patron. The seven main award categories are electrical and electronics; oil and gas; chemical, mineral and alloy; agriculture; machinery, equipment and automation; services; and, other industries. Deadline for entry submission is Aug 2, and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Nov 12. For more information, go to https://www.exportawards.com.my/

Export Excellence Award


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