14/08/2023 07:17 PM

By Siti Noor Afera Abu

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) will organise the State Export Day 2023 nationwide to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) promote their products and services in the international market.

Deputy chief executive officer (exporter development) Abu Bakar Yusof said the programme is a platform for MSMEs and local entrepreneurs to obtain practical information on basic guidelines for exporting and exposure to government assistance and the services of export ecosystem players.

"The State Export Day 2023 is one of MATRADE's initiatives to increase MSME and local entrepreneur's exports in line with our mandate to help them develop products internationally," he told Bernama after being a guest on the Bernama Radio programme “Explore the Export Market with MATRADE” today.

Abu Bakar said the programme was previously organised in a few selected states only.

"But for this year, MATRADE plans to go to all states and cooperate with the state governments and agencies since there is a request from companies for MATRADE to organise an outreach session about export advisory services at the state level," he said.

The programme will be held in Selangor in collaboration with Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) on Aug 23-24, followed by Pahang in collaboration with Pahang State Economic Planning Unit (BPEN) on Sept 6-7, Terengganu in collaboration with Terengganu State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN), Terengganu Entrepreneur Development Foundation (YPU), and Terengganu Entrepreneur Development Foundation as well as Entrepreneur Development Secretariat Unit (PEUTER) on Sept 24-25, and also in Johor and Melaka in the upcoming month of October.

This program also receives cooperation from Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd (EXIM Bank) as the Silver sponsor in all five locations.

There are seven segments in the programme focussing on the basics of exporting and advisory services by government agencies and private service companies involved in the country's export ecosystem.

Abu Bakar said MATRADE is targeting a total of 200 participants in each state consisting of MSME companies under the auspices of the state government and local agencies.

"We hope that MSME companies, especially those who are ready and interested in exporting but do not know how to initiate the steps to export, can participate in this programme," he said.

Regarding the journey of exporters with MATRADE, Abu Bakar said the first step is to register with MATRADE before they undergo the export readiness assessment tool (Erat), a system designed for companies registered as MATRADE members to measure the level of readiness or potential to export their products or services.

"Erat assesses the company's readiness to export in terms of export sources, marketing methods, management commitment and the potential of their company's products and services.

"After knowing their Erat level, whether at beginner, intermediate or advanced level, the company will be exposed to a variety of export-related advisory services and training about exports, and one of them is a programme like the Export Day," he said.

For companies that are selected or interested, Abu Bakar said entrepreneurs would be included in MATRADE's special programmes, namely the intermediate company development programme (MTCDP), the Bumiputra, women and youth exporter development programme (BWYEDP), the MSME development programme (X-Seed) and the eTrade programme.

These programmes will provide special assistance and encouragement to potential exporters to explore international markets and create a competitive and resilient group of exporters.

MATRADE also provides several digital trade information platforms to help companies find export opportunities and conduct market research, such as MyExport and MATRADE digital learning, as well as use its facilities such as the business information centre and get help from the 46 network of MATRADE trade offices abroad.

"After obtaining market information, companies can start accessing the export market through various export promotion activities organised by MATRADE such as trade fairs, trade missions, export acceleration missions, business matching and digital trade platforms such as e-commerce and MATRADE digital trade platform," he said.

At the same time, Abu Bakar said MATRADE provides export financial assistance such as market development grants, service export funds and eTrade to help companies access foreign markets and also reduce the financial burden of their businesses.

To date, MATRADE has 12,000 companies registered as members, and of that number, 56 per cent are existing exporters.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), MSME exports totalled RM144.5 billion in 2022, up 16.3 per cent compared to 5.4 per cent the previous year, driven by the manufacturing sector at 19.5 per cent (2021: 16.7 per cent) and the services sector, which recovered to 5.7 per cent (2021: -22.6 per cent).


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