KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Malaysia will continue to capitalise on Asean partnerships to boost trade, said the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade).
On this initiative, Matrade said it had facilitated the participation of 40 Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the 4th IMT-GT & BIMP-EAGA Trade Fair 2018, which began yesterday until July 22, 2018 in Hatyai, Thailand, in an effort to push Malaysian SMEs expansion in Asean growth areas.
In a statement today, Matrade said the event will expose Malaysian SMEs to export opportunities in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) and Brunei -Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) economic areas.
Matrade Asean and Oceania Section Director Raja Badrulnizam Raja Kamalzaman said the trade fair was an ideal platform to bridge Malaysian companies with the Asean counterparts, apart from championing bilateral relationships with Asean member countries.
“Malaysian SMEs must take the opportunity to explore Asean (markets) as proximity is not an issue and connectivity among the countries has improved tremendously over the years.
“There are various opportunities for Malaysian exporters to fill with a (regional) market size of 620 million people, and Matrade with its eight offices in Asean is ready to provide on-the-ground insights for Malaysian SMEs to ready themselves,” he said.
The IMT-GT is a sub-regional cooperation initiated in 1993 by the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to accelerate the economic transformation in less-developed states and provinces of the three countries.
Meanwhile, the BIMP-EAGA initiatives were launched in 1994 to accelerate the economic development in areas that are geographically distant from their national capitals, yet in strategic proximity to each other.
Held biennially and hosted by BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT member countries on a rotational basis, Matrade said the trade fair was one of the biggest exhibition platforms in the sub-regional area, where Asean business community gathers to promote and market their products and businesses as well as exchange new trends and knowledge on emerging technology.
Matrade said among the initiatives planned during the trade fair, include business meetings, networking session and a seminar on business opportunities in Halal & Logistics in the Asean region.
It said the key sectors showcased at the event are food & beverages, agriculture products, lifestyle and personal care, healthcare, green technology and tourism-related services.
Matrade said trade with Asean countries stood at RM204.23 billion, with exports at RM115.32 billion and imports RM88.91 billion, from January to May this year.
“The top performing markets within Asean for Malaysia are Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines,” it said. — Bernama