Raising the bar high for local exporters

Making strong connections: (From left) Mak, Mohd Mustafa, Kuan and Chan.

PETALING JAYA: The prestigious Export Excellence Awards (EEA) returns for its fifth edition, raising the bar higher than ever before for local exporters.

In celebration of the Awards’ fifth year, the organiser Star Media Group (SMG) and its partner Standard Chartered Malaysia will be hosting a series of on-ground activations to provide networking opportunities and foster collaboration among stakeholders, promoting further growth and excellence in global trade practices.

Standard Chartered Malaysia chief executive officer Mak Joon Nien is thrilled to continue their partnership with SMG, connecting with Malaysian exporters and hearing their stories of perseverance through challenging and unpredictable environments.

He reminds participants to have the ability to evolve and adapt to both local and international market shifts: “Globally, we are confronting what is projected to be the slowest half-decade of GDP growth in 30 years. A significant slowdown in global trade growth has been underscored, which is now expected to be half of what it was in the decade preceding the pandemic.

“Innovation is critical. Our exporters will need to be able to build on existing initiatives and innovate further to unlock efficiencies that will foster a more interconnected global trade ecosystem.

“We also expect them to create a better future for the planet while yielding the many business benefits of sustainability as policymakers and financiers deliver new ways to support sustainable outcomes.

“An increased level of collaboration is also necessary among stakeholders when facing mounting complexities as this fosters innovation, establishes new standards and the sharing of best practices,” highlights Mak.

Expanding horizons

The EEA 2024 will introduce the Global Navigator Series (GNS) in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor, a unique experience that offers attendees skills and insights from the latest global export trends, opportunities and challenges through real-life success stories and case studies from experts across South-East Asia.

There will also be Trade Leaders Connect where participants can engage directly with industry leaders, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations and partnerships.

Malaysia’s national trade promotion agency, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) views the EEA as a springboard for Malaysian SMEs’ market expansion, says its chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz.

“The EEA recognises and celebrates companies that have demonstrated exceptional performance in exports and by showcasing the achievement of these export champions, the event encourages other local businesses to expand their reach beyond domestic borders.”

Matrade also hopes to see Malaysian companies align their priorities to new market requirements such as sustainability and digitalisation in their effort to break into new markets.

“We encourage businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices, such as sustainable sourcing and packaging, to meet shifting consumers’ preferences and international standards.”

Awards submission

This year’s Awards submission is similar to previous years, with further emphasis on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) across all categories.

ESG considerations are becoming increasingly crucial in the export industry, reflecting a growing awareness among consumers, businesses, and regulators of the need for sustainable and ethically responsible trade practices.

Returning as co-sponsor of the EEA, PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd chief revenue officer Kuan Eu Jin says: “ESG will become necessary for exporters to continue accessing their overseas markets as Western countries gradually make ESG a requirement for entry.

“As companies around the world strive to align their operations with these values, the export sector is witnessing significant transformations in how products are sourced, manufactured, and distributed globally.

“Therefore, exporters must start to embrace ESG now,” Kuan points out.

SMG chief executive officer Chan Seng Fatt says the fifth EEA marks a momentous occasion for the group as they reflect on the transformative journey of exporters.

“This year, we place a heightened emphasis on ESG principles, recognising their pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future for global trade. ESG isn’t just a trend; it’s a fundamental shift in how businesses operate, ensuring that growth is not only measured by financial success but by the positive impact on our planet and society.

“We are eager to showcase companies that have ingeniously woven ESG into their export strategies, demonstrating that responsible business practices lead to enduring success.”

Chan adds that the EEA has become a beacon of excellence, acting as a catalyst for innovation, quality improvement, and strategic growth in the global marketplace. “As we celebrate this milestone, we look forward to honouring those who are setting new standards in sustainable and ethical business practices on the global stage.”

Submissions are open from now until Nov 8, 2024.

The EEA 2024 is organised by Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered Malaysia, and PKT Logistics Group as a co-sponsor, and Matrade as patron. It is audited by BDO.

For more information on EEA 2024, go to exportawards.com.my or email eea@thestar.com.my

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