Matrade equips firms with sustainability, digitalisation programmes to spur exports

by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / pic by TMR FILE

MALAYSIA External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) would beef up local companies with sustainability practices and digitalisation adoption to address key trends and clients’ demand in the current business environment.

Matrade deputy CEO in exporters development Abu Bakar Yusof said the national trade promotion agency has planned to engage with over 13,000 Malaysian companies through its exporters development and export promotion programmes.

“The programmes are focused on the creation of more export champions in high-value sectors, the utilisation of digital platforms, inclusiveness, tapping on current market trends and forging strategic collaborations.

“The exporters development programmes particularly focus on equipping companies with the skills to develop a strategic advantage and promote the values of sustainability as stipulated in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs),” Abu Bakar said at the eNational Export Day 2021 yesterday.

He said sustainability and digitalisation cut across the whole export supply chain, not only limited to e-commerce.

He said Matrade has the Sustainability Action Values for Exporters Programme to advocate sustainability among exporters in line with the SDGs.

On the digitalisation front, he said Matrade leverages extensively on technology to implement export promotion as conventional physical activities are no longer viable today.

Matrade is also collaborating with the UN Development Programme to revitalise rural economies through renewable energy to support rural and Orang Asli communities to begin their export journey primarily via e-commerce.

“In conforming to the new norms, Matrade leverages digital technology to conduct export promotion programmes.

“This indirectly minimises costs not only to the government but also to the exporters — a relief to their financial burden,” he said.

Last year, Matrade conducted 1,365 eBizMatch, a virtual format of business-to-business pre-arranged meetings, for 1,115 companies and 703 foreign buyers around the world.

The programme hit 354 matches as at May 31, 2021.

Besides that, Matrade would organise the 18th Malaysia International Halal Showcase in a hybrid format from Sept 9-12, 2021.

Abu Bakar said Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a high adoption of new technologies and Malaysia is ranked fourth among the nine Asia-Pacific countries surveyed in digital platform implementation, and ranked third in adopting IR4.0 technologies.

“Nearly 61% of local SMEs are optimistic that the e-commerce platforms will help contribute to increased revenue growth,” he said.

Malaysia’s trade performance maintained its upward trend in May 2021 with trade expanding by 48.7% to RM170.88 billion compared to May 2020.

Exports surged by 47.3% to RM92.31 billion, the ninth consecutive month of year-on-year expansion since September 2020, mainly driven by robust demand for electrical and electronic, rubber and petroleum products.

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