by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by TMR FILE
THE Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) is encouraging local exporters to utilise its subscription-based online market intelligence platform, MyExport, amid the challenging trading environment.
In a statement yesterday, Matrade CEO Datuk Wan Latiff Wan Musa (picture) said Malaysian exporters have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic as they are not able to travel abroad, either to participate in trade shows or even conduct face-to-face meetings with potential customers.
Wan Latiff said the platform which gives access to trade enquiries from foreign importers has benefitted many local exporters in the market.
He said Matrade conducted a survey in February, where 53% of the total respondents said they managed to generate export sales through trade leads published in MyExport.
“Leveraging the digital platforms has become a new normal for businesses not only to survive, but to stay visible in the export market.
“To complement the trade leads, MyExport provides updated market information to ensure Malaysian exporters are kept abreast on the latest international business trends and export opportunities.
“I believe in the present situation, online platform is vital for Malaysian exporters to get connected with potential foreign buyers which may translate into real business deals,” Wan Latiff said.
In 2019, MyExport published 4,157 trade leads from importers in 112 countries wanting to source products and services from Malaysia.
Meanwhile, as of this month, a total of 1,158 leads were posted on the market intelligence platform.
Among the products that are highly sought-after by foreign companies are prepared food, building and construction materials, chemicals, furniture, automotive parts and components.
Apart from trade leads, MyExport provides subscribers access to current trade information such as Market Alerts, Product Market Studies, Trade Statistics and International Tender Notices. Wan Latiff added that it is paramount for local exporters to leverage digital channels to ensure that engagement with customers is sustained despite Covid-19 setbacks.
Online trade leads posted on MyExport serves as an opportunity for Malaysian exporters to provide business offers according to customers’ request.
This trade intelligence is updated on a daily basis by 46 Matrade Trade Commissioners across the globe.
Wan Latiff said during this pandemic, medical products including medical gloves, face masks, hospital gowns and sanitisers topped the list.
He said these enquiries are received from all over the world including the US, Europe, India, Africa, Latin America and countries in Asean.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry introduced a Market Development Grant guideline for online export promotions for small and medium enterprises, allowing them to claim certain expenses for their participation in virtual trade events to promote exports starting from July 1.
Eligible companies can apply for a reimbursable grant for activities under two categories — virtual international trade fairs and virtual trade promotion missions, where business-to-business meetings are organised.
In 2019, the country’s total trade decreased 2.5% to RM1.8 trillion from RM1.9 trillion a year earlier due to lower demand from major trading partners, according to data by the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Exports declined 1.7% to RM986.4 billion, while imports were lower by 3.5% at RM849 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM137.4 billion.