by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by BERNAMA
MID-TIER companies (MTCs) should make use of all the facilities and incentives provided by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) to transform their business towards operational and manufacturing efficiencies through high-tech processes.
Its Deputy Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong (picture) said the government — through several economic stimulus packages, with the most recent being the additional allocation of RM50 million under Pemerkasa (Strategic Programme to Empower the People and the Economy) — has put strong emphasis on digitalisation as one of the new elements to elevate the competitiveness of Malaysian companies, including MTCs.
“The government has also given much emphasis on the adoption of Industry 4.0 among MTCs, focusing on automation and smart manufacturing, among other areas.
“Smart manufacturing, leveraging Internet of Things and real time data capture, will also contribute to increasing productivity and efficiency,” Lim said at the MTC Development Programme (MTCDP) graduation ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He said MITI and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) will continue to be at the forefront in facilitating businesses especially MTCs to excel in the overseas markets which will ultimately drive the growth of export, boost global opportunities and heighten the visibility of Malaysian products and services.
“MTCs should also be the leader in driving Malaysia’s economic recovery.
“I strongly believe that our MTCs can be the mentor or anchor to our small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” said Lim.
Matrade chairman Tan Sri Dr Halim Mohammad said based on a study by McKinsey & Co, there are close to 10,000 MTCs that have contributed 40% of their output to the GDP of Malaysia.
He believes MTCs can contribute more, adding that Matrade spends about RM200,000 per company to help develop them to be export ready in many areas.
On that note, Lim inserted that if one MTC can groom at least 10 SMEs, the spillover impact to the country’s GDP will grow beyond the current 40%.
“MTCs all over Malaysia will also support the socioeconomic inclusiveness and sustainability, both of which are the pillars of the 12th Malaysia Plan.
“They should continue to invest in new growth sectors and provide new job opportunities for Malaysia’s workforce,” he said.
A total of 63 MTCs in various sectors, including construction and business services; fastmoving consumer goods; food and beverage; electrical and electronics; and information and communications technology (ICT) services, have completed the MTCDP.
These MTCs were the sixth and seventh wave of the programme held in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Matrade has so far groomed 275 MTCs since 2014 and recorded cumulative increase in exports revenue of RM4.9 billion.
For 2019 alone, MTC exports’ revenue reached RM14.16 billion, an increase of 22.5% compared to the year before.
The MTCs from Waves 6 and 7 have participated in nine market immersion missions targeting several key markets such as the US, China, Qatar, Thailand and Indonesia.
Despite challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Matrade had successfully undertook its virtual market immersion mission to Australia involving MTCs in sectors from processed food, ICT, building materials and business services.
During this immersion, Matrade’s Melbourne office connected eight premium buyers with the MTCs via video conference meetings and online branding activities.
Wave 8 of MTCDP is scheduled to kick start in June 2021, and currently Matrade is actively recruiting 25 new participants for the programme.
The MTCDP targets MTCs with annual revenues between RM50 million and RM500 million for manufacturing companies, and RM20 million and RM500 million for services companies.