Matrade on track to increase export value of mid-tier MTCs to RM15 billion by 2021

Posted on : 13-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is on track to increase the export value of local mid-tier companies (MTCs) to RM15 billion by 2021 via the Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP).

Last year, the export value of the 101 MTCs under the MTCDP’s Wave 1 and 2 Programmes reached RM5.67 billion, up by RM1.52 billion from the RM4.15 billion in 2014, said Matrade’s Senior Director Strategic Planning Division, Wan Latiff Wan Musa.

“This year, we will see a better performance in exports as we recruited 54 local MTCs for the MTCDP’s Wave 3 Programme on April 1.

“We are also confident that upon completion of the programme, export revenue generated by the 54 MTCs would increase by eight per cent next year, up from the current RM1.2 billion,” he told Bernama yesterday.

Established in 2014, the MTCDP is a nine-month programme hosted by Matrade to help local MTCs from various sectors accelerate their export growth and strengthen their core business functions.

The programme will be implemented in eight waves over eight years and is expected to create 21,000 high-income jobs by 2021.

On the MTCDP, Wan Latiff said Matrade would diagnose, provide capacity building training such as product branding or new technology adoption to the participating companies.

He said Matrade would also facilitate those companies, ready to venture into new markets, by arranging business matching opportunities and holding seminars for them.

“After completing the nine-month programme, the companies will be absorbed into another programme called ‘Ramp-Up’,” he added.

The “Ramp-Up” is a two-year programme targeted at sustaining the growth momentum of the MTCs, further deepen their linkages in the international markets and help them grow to become future Malaysian Multinational Companies (MNCs).

“During the period, we will guide them on how to do business marketing and export promotions,” Wan Latiff said.

He also said that the programme would also enable the MTCs to cope with the higher demand from the other 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations once the agreement came into effect.

“When their exports grow, it means their capacity has increased and can cope with demand from TPP markets,” he added.

The other 11 TPP countries are the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

MTCs are companies with an annual revenue of between RM50 million to RM500 million in the manufacturing sector and between RM20 million to RM500 million in other sectors.

They contribute 30 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and represent 22 per cent of the workforce despite only making up about one per cent of all establishments in Malaysia.

Currently, there are about 9,900 mid-tier companies in Malaysia.


Malaysia’s herbal-based F&B exports to reach RM400 million a year

Posted on : 13-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR– The export value of Malaysia’s herbal-based food and beverages is expected to reach between RM300 million and RM400 million a year, driven by the increasing popularity of herbal and natural products among consumers.

“Currently, our herbal industry growth rate is estimated at 15 per cent yearly and projected to worth RM29 billion by 2020,” Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud said.

Speaking to reporters following the soft launch of the 10th Herbal Asia Trade Fair 2016 here today, he said industry players should intensify their research and development and tap into the export market.

“The herbal industry is a promising industry. Malaysia is well positioned to become a key global player as it is blessed with rich biodiversity and cultural background,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Dzulkifli said the herbal industry had contributed towards the production of diverse products ranging from healthcare, food, cosmetic and personal care.

On the global herbal market, he said the nutraceuticals market was valued at US$70 billion (US$1=RM4.02), while phytomedicine (US$20 billion), with an average growth rate of between 15 and 20 per cent annually.

Meanwhile, Herbal Asia Trade Fair 2016 Project Director Safinah Yaakob said the fair would focus on facilitating business linkages as Malaysian herbal industry players were poised for the export market.

She said 350 exhibitors from 10 countries, including Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Italy were expected to occupy the 6,599 square-meter exhibition floor to showcase their products, machineries and technologies.

“The trade show is expected to generate RM6 million in sales compared with RM5 million last year.

“The figure gap is small because we need to compete with other countries which are also promoting their herbs,” she said, adding that eight countries had already registered for the event which is expected to attract 10,000 visitors.

The Herbal Asia Trade Fair 2016 themed ‘Towards Sustainable Market Place for Herbal, Green and Natural Supply’ will be held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre here from Oct 5-8.

Among events arrayed at the fair are business-matching sessions, a trade buyer programme, a herbal conference and a herbal Asia programme.

Safinah said the Herbal Asia Trade Fair would be promoted during the Thailand Lab International Exhibition in Bangkok from Sept 21-23 and the Herbal Asia Italy on Nov 10.

About 50 Malaysian companies are expected to take part in the Thai exhibition with over RM1 million transactions expected, while 30 Malaysian companies showcasing their products at the Herbal Asia Italy are expected to generate RM10 million in sales, she added.

“Italy is one of the biggest buyers of herbal products in Europe and its halal sector is also booming. It is a huge market for Malaysian halal herbal products and services,” she said.


A good start for new Bank Negara governor

Posted on : 11-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

There was a slightly awkward feeling when Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s name was not called out as usual as the Bank Negara governor.

Instead, when the master of ceremonies at the Global Islamic Finance Forum 5.0 event in Kuala Lumpur today announced the arrival of the governor, it was Muhammad Ibrahim who appeared.

Looking rather calm and composed, Muhammad marched confidently to the stage after being invited to deliver his first ever keynote address as the new central bank leader.

Muhammad, who was appointed early this month, still showed a little anxiety even though it was not his first keynote speech.

“Maybe his new position made him a little nervous,” a source close to him told Bernama.

But with his vast experience and familiarity in the industry, the former deputy governor quickly overcame his nerves and finished his speech with style and confidence.

His first official event attracted huge interest from the media seeking his comments on current issues, hoping to find a governor whose views might differ from his predecessor’s.

The turnout at the Sasana Kijang hall was exceptional, with almost 30 reporters, including about 10 from television stations, waiting for a door-stop session with Muhammad before he left.

Top on their list of questions was whether 1MDB would default on its coupon payment on a US$1.75 billion bond due today.

Maintaining his smile, Muhammad gave a short and concise answer: the government would honour all its debt obligations.

Before leaving, he reminded the reporters of Bank Negara’s upcoming first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) announcement on Friday, one of the central bank’s major annual events.

“See you guys on Friday,” said the gentleman in the black suit.

The symbolism – signifying the end of the era of the lady in the blue ‘baju kurung’ – could not have gone unnoticed.


“Model for power trading between ASEAN countries”

Posted on : 11-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : International News

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia’s is moving into the power export business with the commissioning of the Sarawak-West Kalimantan 275kV transmission line, bringing much-needed electricity supply to the Indonesian province.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili said the project, which is operated by the Bengkayang Substation in West Kalimantan, is a model for power trading between Asean countries.

The interconnection began operating on Jan 21 this year and the grid has been supplying about 70mW of power per day to West Kalimantan and surrounding areas as of May 9.

“We, both the Malaysian and Indonesian teams, are proud to be able to execute this long-awaited dream of power trading between neighbouring countries,” Ongkili said.

The substation started construction in 2013 after Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Sjotveit and PT PLN (Indonesian state-owned electricity company) president director Nur Pamudji signed a power exchange agreement detailing the export of electricity from Sarawak to West Kalimantan.

Both countries subsequently set up joint technical committee to expedite the process of power trading.

“I commend the committee members from both countries for their efforts, after numerous trial tests, the Bengkayang Substation is now operating very well and the people of West Kalimantan have been enjoying better electricity supply,” Ongkili said.

“Malaysia and Indonesia are proud of this successful development,” said Ongkili in a statement here.

He had earlier visited the Bengkayang substation on Tuesday along with West Kalimantan governor Dr M.H. Cornelis.

Ongkili other power export projects in the works include Malacca-Sumatra interconnection that is still under development, while the Nunukan-Sabah link is at the planning stage.

He said these projects demonstrated that the long-proposed Asean Power Grid (APG) was not impossible to achieve.

“SEB and PT PLN has already proven that power trading between countries can be done successfully despite a lot of concern regarding technical standard, grid stability and tariff pricing,” he opined.

This energy development, he further explained, is highly recommended because it comes from renewable energy resources, which are sustainable and environmentally friendly.