KUALA LUMPUR: In an unprecedented first, Malaysia’s trade surpassed the RM2tril mark between January and November 2021 due to a resilient business sector performing under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic.Trade, exports, imports and trade surplus recorded the highest value for the period and exports increased by 25.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM1.116tril.
In a recent statement, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) said it will stay cognisant of the needs to remain relevant in the new normal by actively harnessing the internet and adapting digitalisation in doing business.
“Last year alone, Matrade conducted 40 webinars covering topics in branding, marketing, business opportunities as well as sustainability that can elevate Malaysian companies’ competitiveness.
“Through MyExport Services, companies registered with Matrade can access 945 market intelligence reports namely market alerts and product market studies as well as 3,256 trade leads to keep abreast of the latest trends,” it said.
On the ecommerce front, it said, the eTRADE 2.0 programme encourages the use of digital mediums for export promotions of products and services globally through listings on selected international ecommerce platforms as well as support digital marketing activities and training. In 2021, the programme assisted 113 companies.
“To develop targeted business segments, companies are mentored through various customised programmes conducted by Matrade – notably the Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme, the GlobPreneur and the Bumiputra, Women and Youth Exporters Development Programme.
“Through these programmes, eligible companies receive facilitation including coaching and participation in trade events,” said the corporation.
Matrade added that it will continue to support Malaysian companies through the Market Development Grant (MDG) which was introduced in 2002.
“The scope of MDG was expanded to cover the increased cost of doing business, participation in virtual events, branding activities on digital platforms, international certification as well as intellectual property registration,” it said.
Moreover, it also said that it has fully adopted the new way of conducting export promotion as physical interactions were impracticable.
“For 2021, 43 export promotion programmes were conducted, benefitting 2,161 companies and generating RM12.63bil of export sales.
“A total of 1,692 online business meetings or eBizMatch were organised between 1,205 Malaysian companies and 993 foreign buyers from all over the world last year,” it said.
Besides that, the fully virtual Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) last year generated a total of RM2.13bil in export sales from both its virtual exhibition and online business meeting components.
To further ensure extensive business continuity for Malaysian exporters, Matrade virtually organised its export acceleration missions and international sourcing programmes alongside hybrid trade events overseas like the World Expo Dubai 2020 and China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO).
Alongside its digitalisation efforts, Matrade also advocates sustainability.
“A memorandum of cooperation between Matrade, CIMB Islamic Bank and the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre was signed last year to accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s green exporters.
“The most important component of these initiatives in the environment, social and governance (ESG) arena is deliberated at high levels in the trade and investment missions led by the Senior Minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 2021 with Matrade and the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA),” it said.
It opines that both the digitalisation and sustainability agenda are incorporated in the National Trade Blueprint. The five-year strategic plan (2021-2025) was formulated to increase Malaysia’s trade competitiveness and tackle various export concerns.
Matrade chief executive officer Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, for one, is determined to highlight more of Matrade’s roles as the national trade promotion agency.
“With the emphasis on digitalisation and sustainability, we will work closely with the government and private sectors to enhance the export ecosystem,” he said.
In 2022, however, Matrade said it is committed to facilitate and provide advisory assistance to Malaysian companies towards penetrating the global market.
For instance, 286 exporters development and export promotion programmes are put in place based on the strategic directions of National Trade Blueprint focusing on these agendas.
Moreover, with a network of 46 overseas-based offices and five regional offices in Malaysia, Mustafa urges Malaysian companies to contact Matrade when seeking assistance regarding export opportunities.
“Matrade is committed to promote Malaysian export and collaborate with both public and private sectors to drive the country’s export growth,” he added.
For more information, visit www.matrade.gov.my. Alternatively, you can also reach out to any of its offices or social media platforms.