Survey: More SMEs exporting beyond APAC


Exports from Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to countries outside the Asia Pacific (APAC) have grown significantly up to 82%, a FedEx Express-commissioned survey revealed.

According to the courier company’s research entitled “Global is the New Local: The Changing International Trade Patterns of Small Business in APAC”, exports from Malaysian SMEs within APAC, on the other hand, have remained at 55%.

FedEx Express Malaysia MD SC Chong said the positive trend is a result of the ever increasing access to the right resources among SMEs.

“It is exciting to see that local SMEs are taking the opportunities to expand their businesses globally and generate more revenues from exports,” he said.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) COO Datuk Ng Wan Peng said the current hyper-connectivity via e-commerce has also fuelled the global market that is more accessible with endless possibilities for businesses.

“MDEC will continue to support SMEs through various strategic platforms, as well as provide comprehensive training and develop technical skills to help them to propel forwards into the future,” he said.

“Coupled with the government’s continued commitment to equip our local SMEs with state-of-the-art infrastructure and tools for cross-border trade such as the Digital Free Trade Zone, SMEs are encouraged to the giant leap to enhance relevance in today’s technology-infused economy,” Ng added.

The study also revealed that air transport is the top export method, making up 67% of overall transactions, while 62% of clients use the air method for imports.

The report stated that air is the top export transport method for Malaysia followed very closely by sea, while sea is the top import transport method, followed closely by air.

Additionally, exports make up 77% of the total revenues of SMEs, with Malaysian SMEs earning RM4.75 million, ran-king them among the top four SME export in the region.

This places Malaysia behind Singapore (RM7.18 million), Hong Kong (RM5.93 million) and the Philippines (RM5.79 million).

The study also showed that 57% of Malaysian SMEs source goods and services such as raw materials, components, finished products, professional services and designs from the country, while 43% import them from various markets.

“However, 37% of local SMEs predict an increase in imports in the near future, citing higher quality products, lower production cost, greater product variety, higher customer satisfaction and increased sales as the main advantages of importing,” the study reported.

The study samples include Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan.