KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is strengthening its pool of sustainable-ready exporters, as the nation aspires to be a global player in sustainable trade.
International Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Datuk Darell Leiking said the trade fraternity played a keyrole in transforming Malaysia into a preferred source of sustainable products and services.
"The adoption of sustainability as a focus in our exports will certainly give a strategic advantage to Malaysian exporters as they compete in the global marketplace," he said when opening the Sustainable-Ready Exporters Conference at Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre here on Tuesday (Nov 19).
He praised the conference participants for taking the first step towards the journey of becoming sustainable-ready exporters.
"We must not underestimate the strength that the export business brings in technology and skill enhancements, job creations, as well as the well-being of society.
"With sustainability as our strategic advantage we can better diversify Malaysia’s capabilities in export," he said.
Initiatives were being taken to strengthen Malaysian companies' footprint in conventional markets namely Asean, China and United States, as well as emerging markets such as the Middle East, Central Asia, Latin America and Africa, he said.
Miti was committed in promoting Malaysia as a globally competitive trading nations, he said.
"This in the long-run will make Malaysia a leading example to others," he said.
Darrel said, however, Unites States-China trade war had proven to adversely affect the world economies, as trade share of GDP declined for the first time in 30 years, global unemployment reached 197 million last year, while 600 million new jobs were needed to keep up with population growth.
"All these challenges must be addressed tactfully.
"We need to be creative in finding new opportunities within the obstacles stemming from the current economic issues.
"We have to understand that economic slowdown is cyclical in nature – as we are now facing a slowdown we have to take note that the economy is bound to be better when the time is right.
"This means, global promotional effort to enhance Malaysia’s export capabilities must be continued to ensure that we will remain competitive at any given time," he said.
Miti had endorsed Matrade's Sustainability Action Values for Exporters (SAVE) programme.
"Miti calls on all stakeholders in the Malaysian exports ecosystem to get involved in the Matrade Programmes to build sustainable-ready exporters. This is a community of Malaysian entrepreneurs that Malaysia needs, and Miti will support them passionately," he said.
The capacity building programme focused on SMEs and Mid-Tier Companies.
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