KUALA LUMPUR: The global economic environment currently presents both challenges and opportunities for Malaysia as it re-emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
To not let a crisis go to waste, the government has focused on realigning growth on a sustainable trajectory, which includes restoring the growth momentum of key economic sectors and propelling strategic and high-impact industries. , including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
These are vitally important as Malaysia aims to become a high-income, technology-driven nation, which will see the country move towards high-value, high-skilled economic activities.
Against this background and considering the important contribution of trade to the Malaysian economy, the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has developed the National Trade Blueprint (NTBp).
This is the first plan of its kind, commissioned by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). The NTBp was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on October 25, 2021.
“NTBp outlines a five-year development strategy (2021-2025) and initiatives aimed at improving the country’s export competitiveness through strengthening the business ecosystem and improving Malaysia’s position as the world’s leading exporting country in the goods sector,” said the managing director of MATRADE. officer Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz.
It is guided by four key priorities, three strategic themes and eight strategic axes (see infographic). Eight working groups have been formed to implement the recommendations made by the NTBp – Trade Facilitation; Logistics; standards and compliance; trade promotion and access to markets; sustainability and innovation; Digitization and technology; Investment; and brand image.
The working groups include relevant members of the public sector and representatives from various departments and agencies, the private sector, business communities and professional associations.
The NTBp also relies on the Jawatankuasa Koordinasi Export (JK-X), chaired by the Chief Secretary of Government as the governing and overseeing body for the implementation of the 40 recommendations and 127 initiatives of the master plan. The committee meets three times a year.
Workgroups started as the Logistics Unit, whose policy the Department of Transport revised to allow prime movers and trailers to be shared within the same group of companies.
This reduces capital and operating costs by 10% to 20% to solve the problem of high ancillary port charges, helped by the ability of transport companies to optimize existing partnerships without having to increase the number of trailers.
Similarly, as part of the working group on trade promotion and access to markets, MATRADE is currently coordinating the development of the single export information portal (SIPE) and the integrated platform for trade events ( ITEP). These initiatives aim to address the immediate needs arising from the pandemic to boost Malaysia’s trade competitiveness.
The SIPE will be a comprehensive portal encompassing information across the entire export value chain, while the ITEP will be a dedicated platform to connect foreign buyers or investors with Malaysian companies.
The main benefits of these platforms include stronger national branding; rationalization of export promotion efforts and reduction of costs, better coordination of national events; and, big data analysis, among others.
“Overall, the NTBp is an important program for Malaysia’s export development, which in turn has a positive impact on the nation. Increased export earnings provide more opportunities to improve the country’s infrastructure and facilities,” Mustafa said.
Business investment and export activities are also expected to generate better employment opportunities while stimulating quality education, which is necessary to provide skilled labor and talent to meet the needs of the economy. industry.
It also brings Malaysia closer to a higher income nation status and improves people’s lives and livelihoods.
The success of NTBp requires concerted public and private sector efforts to develop a conducive business ecosystem that is critical to export prosperity.