KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) helped 13,813 local companies penetrate the global market during the 2015-2019 period through 466 export promotion activities and exporter development programmes, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Senator Datuk Lim Ban Hong said Matrade also promoted 337 Malaysian brands from various sectors during the period.

They included Petronas, Royal Selangor, Secret Recipe, Marrybrown, Brahim’s, Adabi, Tanamera, Lewre, Khind, and Upin & Ipin, he added.

Lim said among Matrade’s initiatives in helping local businesses enter the global market include holding a Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme in collaboration with consulting firms that provide advisory services related to export affairs to the programme participants.

Matrade also holds the Bumiputera Women and Youth (BWY) Exporter Development Programme where companies with export potential products are given training and exposure in export promotion activities.

It also provides Market Development Grants to ease the financial burden faced by local small and medium entrepreneur (SME) exporting companies.

“For the Jan 1-Aug 31, 2020 period, grants amounting to RM16.42 million were channelled to 1,072 companies,” he said in response to a question from Senator Datuk Lee Tian Sing (BN-MCA) in the Dewan Negara today.

Lee wanted to know the number of local companies or brands that Matrade has brought to the world stage over the past five years and the initiative to increase and help local businesses reach the global market.

He said Matrade has also taken proactive measures through various digital platforms to increase the country’s total exports.

With the implementation of eBizMatch, a virtual business matching session, he said Matrade has arranged 628 sessions as at Aug 31, 2020, where 423 foreign buyers have been matched with 586 Malaysian companies, generating potential sales of RM483.21 million.

Exporters are also put through their paces through exporter training activities using webinar sessions.

From Jan 1 to Aug 31, 2020, a total of 119 webinars were organised in collaboration with various parties, including Asian Development Bank, Islamic Centre for Development of Trade, The Star, eBay and McKinsey & Co., with topics covering market updates, market promotion strategies, supply chains and the Covid-19 pandemic impact on business sustainability. – Bernama