Heng Hiap Industries, a testament of MATRADE’s support for Malaysian mid-tier companies in sustainability


The HHI team took part in collecting ocean-bound plastic trash at Pengerang beach in Johor.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has been instrumental in grooming mid-tier companies (MTCs) from various industries to become global champions.

Leveraging on sustainability as pre-requisite to enhance the competitiveness, MATRADE has identified relevant companies with potential products and technologies that can be promoted further in the international marketplace.

With MATRADE’s support and assistance, one of these companies that succeeded in making it in the global plastic industry is the multiple award winning integrated plastic recycling company Heng Hiap Industries Sdn Bhd (HHI).

In sustainability agenda, HHI is the first in the world to receive Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP) certification initiated by Zero Plastic Ocean, audited by Control Union and witnessed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

According to HHI founder and chief executive officer Seah Kian Hoe, MATRADE has been consistently offering different marketing programmes and exhibition opportunities abroad, through which the company reached out to more customers from different countries and various industrial players.

Back in 2019, HHI participated in K-Fair exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany under MATRADEBack in 2019, HHI participated in K-Fair exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany under MATRADE

“We couldn’t be prouder to be an exhibitor overseas together with MATRADE. The joint exhibition with MATRADE is more effective than an individual company, as we are representing the country when at exhibitions like K-Fair in Germany,” he shared.

‘Throughout the mid-tier market immersion programme, HHI is able to prove ourselves and stand out in the global market,’ said Seah.‘Throughout the mid-tier market immersion programme, HHI is able to prove ourselves and stand out in the global market,’ said Seah.

“MATRADE overseas offices have been constantly promoting HHI and providing new customer leads to us,” he said in email interview.

Seah added: “MATRADE has been able to connect to a wide variety of informal communities, including tailgate sorter, faith-based charity group, Tzu Chi, material pickers, building cleaner, and mobile collectors.”

HHI participating in market immersion mission to Mumbai and Pune, India under MATRADE back in 2018.HHI participating in market immersion mission to Mumbai and Pune, India under MATRADE back in 2018.

On how HHI succeeded in developing technology to safely break down plastic waste into clean and sustainable raw materials, he said that they have built a standard protocol for plastic waste collection among the 28,000 communities to ensure the consistency of quality before they start processing the material into smart plastics.

“The entire production process is strictly controlled by ISO9001 standard. The quality assurance department regularly checks the finished goods via in-house testing instrument including XRF machine complying with RoHS1 for detection of heavy metal contaminant,” he revealed.

As of 2020, the company has 18 intellectual property and one trademark, while three more trademarks will be registered this year.

In its plastics recycling business, HHI adopts mechanical recycling (plastic waste into pelletize material that fulfill the industrial standard, converting three types of recycled plastics: rPP, rPE and rPET), and chemical recycling (converting of non-recycled plastic waste into an energy carrier or Naphtha like feedstock).

On HHI’s role in promoting sustainable environmental practices, Seah said, they have been practising the 5Cs – collect, convert, co-create, champion and consume.

HHI’s growth initiatives support three key sustainability goals: promoting circularity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing waste leakages into the environment.

HHI intends to be the leading recycling company to offer technology-enabled offerings and revolutionise the recycling landscape, in the future.

Besides that, he said, HHI is pioneering a digital platform that will maximise value for its stakeholders in the plastic recyclables collection value chain.

“The journey of the recyclable waste will be shared with the consumers to highlight the impact created by their contribution.

“The key goals of HHI digital platform, or the HHI smart recycling app, includes educating the general public on importance and basics of recycling, increasing participation and engagement, leading to increase in recycling volumes, as well as optimising value chain logistics,” he added.

Seah thanked MATRADE for the strong support given in developing HHI’s competitive advantage and equip them with relevant tools to position themselves as the global player in the plastics industry.

He highlighted that the Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP) by MATRADE helped the company to strengthen its core business function. For the record, HHI was the participant in Wave 5, MTCDP in 2017.

“Throughout the Mid-Tier Market Immersion Programme, HHI is able to prove ourselves and stand out in the global market. For instance, we are one of the largest recycled plastic material supplier in Australia and New Zealand.”

Through exporters development programme like MTCDP, MATRADE will be able to create more export champions and support the ongoing efforts by the Government in regenerating Malaysian economy, driving the growth of new sectors while striking the balance to ensure the socio-economic inclusiveness and sustainability.

MATRADE is currently recruiting new participants for the programme. The MTCDP targets MTCs with annual revenues between RM50mil and RM500mil for manufacturing companies, while RM20mil to RM500mil for services companies.

Interested companies are encouraged to contact midtier@matrade.gov.my for more details.

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