Many Yong Mama’s out there as MATRADE leverages digital to help power Malaysian exports
By Digital News Asia October 17, 2022
- TPO that is action-oriented & focused on delivering its mission statement
- Various targeted action plans drawn to support MyDIGITAL aspirations
As an agency that was created almost 30 years ago, the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has been mandated to assist Malaysian entrepreneurs to develop and expand their export markets to help the country become a trading powerhouse.
HG Cheah (pic) co-founder of Yong Mama Food Industries Sdn Bhd has enjoyed first-hand experience of Matrade’s efforts. “We started engaging with Matrade one year after venturing to overseas markets to sell our products,” he said. Participating in cross border B2B e-commerce platform by utilising Matrade's assistance, Yong Mama won a deal with a South Korean buyer after four months.
Today, 1.5 years later Yong Mama has successfully exported its products to Cambodia and other emerging regions and Cheah credits Matrade’s eTRADE 2.0 grant that helped Yong Mama to onboard itself to Matrade’s e-commerce platform. “The application process was hassle-free and the officer helpful when we were unsure about the e-document submission.”
That Malaysia has been consistently ranked among the top 25 trading nations in the world by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), attests to the major role that Matrade has played.
The trade promotion organisation (TPO) is far from being complacent. Its reaction to the pandemic, since early 2020 shows a TPO that is action-oriented and focused on delivering its mission statement.
As with many organisations, it has seized on digital as the best way to nullify the crippling impact of the pandemic on businesses. But adopting digital is nothing new for Matrade. The agency has been proactive even before pandemic in facilitating adoption of digitalisation to Malaysian exporters beginning with the listing of the Malaysia Products, Services and Brand Directories in Matrade’s website which enables importers to search for Malaysian manufacturers.
What happened during the pandemic was that Matrade intensified its digitalisation drives through virtual business matchings namely eBizMatch which enabled global importers to connect with Malaysian exporters with business meetings conducted digitally.
Apart from that, MATRADE strengthened and expanded its range of assistance with various other digital services as well, such as:
eTRADE Programme 2.0
Beginning March 2021, Matrade started to implement its eTRADE Programme 2.0, an enhancement and continuation of the eTRADE Programme under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
The objectives are to continue assisting Malaysian MSMEs to enlist their products and enhance their visibility on cross-border eCommerce platforms. This can be via activities that help to sustain their online business, including digital marketing, eCommerce training, and online export promotions, with the view of increasing their exposure and realising export opportunities.
There are two financial schemes attached to the programme, namely the Onboarding Scheme and the Digital Marketing & Training (DMT) Scheme.
Through the Onboarding Scheme, companies can enjoy up to US$1,600 (RM5,000) to cover part of the onboarding cost of joining cross-border eCommerce platforms such as eBay and Alibaba.com. Through the DMT Scheme, companies are able to utilise up to US$4,250 (RM20,000) to undertake digital marketing activities and training programmes for the purpose of export.
In 2021, 39 awareness and outreach activities were conducted, mostly through webinars, which consisted of briefing sessions and eTRADE Consultation Days. A total of 2,100 companies and 6,664 participants joined these programmes with 280 assisted by eTRADE Programme 2.0 in 2021, with 156 MSMEs for the Onboarding Scheme and 124 MSMEs for the DMT Scheme.
The eTRADE Programme 2.0 has recorded export sales of RM26.5 million for 2021. A total of 30 awareness and outreach activities were implemented from January to September 2022, with 2,554 participants. The programme has further assisted 318 MSMEs.
[RM1 = US$0.21]
More information on eTrade 2.0 Programme can be obtained here.
Electronic Business Linkage Programme (eBizLink) is a new high impact initiative introduced under ‘Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi’ (“PEMERKASA”) through Matrade, with the goal of intensifying the promotion of Malaysia’s export leveraging on digital and hybrid platforms focusing on digital marketing.
The eBizLink initiative is supported by Matrade’s 46 overseas offices worldwide through strategic collaboration with local and international stakeholders, including relevant governmental agencies, businesses, and industry players. RM6 million was allocated to implement eBizLink programmes beginning July 2021 until December 2022.
The programme aims to provide cost-effective and sustainable solutions for MSMEs and Mid-Tier Companies (MTCs) to seize new business opportunities in global marketplace due to the challenges bought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
eBizLink focuses on Online to Offline (O2O) with emphasis on digital marketing including KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). The marketing focuses on B2B and B2C platforms and in-store promotion integrated with social media to leverage on international sale campaigns to promote Malaysian products and brands globally.
Matrade targets to conduct more than 40 eBusiness Global Campaigns via its Trade Offices globally for the initiative.
For 2022, more than 20 eBusiness Global Campaigns have been scheduled in order to achieve eBizLink’s KPI of 600 companies assisted through focused campaigns including business matching with importers in new potential markets with RM60 million exports generated through wider market access.
As of September 2022, eBizLink programmes generated RM232.7 million exports, exceeding the KPI by 387.8% while benefitting more than 700 Malaysian exporters.
And finally, the MATRADE DIGITAL TRADE PLATFORM (MDTP)
Launched in July 2022, Matrade Digital Trade Platform is an interactive B2B and B2C platform that serves international buyers, Malaysian exporters and SMEs. This solution comprises the Matrade Virtual Engagement Platform, Matrade Marketplace, Marketplace Aggregator and the Matrade Digital Trade Platform with the following elements.
1. Matrade Virtual Engagement Platform
- Provides a central hub for virtual trade activities including virtual exhibition, online B2B and B2C business matching, business pitching and webinar.
2. Matrade Marketplace
- Will provide a virtual online platform to facilitate buying and selling on a fully functioning e-marketplace.
3. Marketplace Aggregator
- Allows Malaysian exporters to use MDTP as a single platform to manage their presence in global marketplace.
4. Smart Trade Facilitation System
- Analyse import and export data by leveraging on big data analysis & Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In line with the Matrade’s mission in enabling local companies to carve new frontiers in global markets, this state-of-the-art platform empowers Malaysian SMEs by accelerating their entry onto the international trade scene.
MDTP will act as the catalyst for exporters’ development and promotional activities. This initiative is in tandem with the Government’s effort to drive Malaysia’s digitalisation through the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint or MyDIGITAL as a national initiative to chart the trajectory of digital economy’s contribution to the Malaysian economy and to steer digitalisation across Malaysia.
To support the MyDIGITAL aspiration, various targeted action plans have been drawn up to undertake programmes and activities in achieving national targets through the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap (NESR2.0) and the National Trade Blueprint (NTBP).
Watch this space, there is more to come.