KUALA LUMPUR (May 21): The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is proposing to widen the scope of its market development grant (MDG) to be in line with the current trend and needs.

Director of transformation and digital trade division Noraslan Hadi Abdul Kadir said the proposal aims to help Malaysian exporters in facing global challenges especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, by assisting them in doing business online.

He said for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to remain competitive, they must continually expand their exports, therefore with this proposal, the possibility of them going global or continue to go global amidst the current pandemic would be guaranteed.

“The MDG is administered by MATRADE, and we want to propose this to widen help to the exporters through this grant,” he said at the Malaysia Online Seller Summit, today.

During the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforcement from March 18 until today, MATRADE has approved RM7.33 million in grants for Malaysian exporters, and has organised 297 virtual business-to-business (B2B) meeting and engagements between Malaysian exporters and foreign buyers.

Meanwhile, head of Asia Pacific Stephen Kuo said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that businesses worldwide have to rethink their business priorities, innovate, and reposition themselves.

He said Malaysian businesses are uniquely placed to recover faster by leveraging cross-border opportunities given the established infrastructure available here, including the first overseas Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) Hub.

Since the launch of eWTP in Malaysia in 2017, Kuo said Alibaba Group has been a strong partner of leading government agencies and local businesses here, working closely together to introduce Malaysian products to Chinese consumers and wholesale buyers from around world through its platforms such as Tmall Global and

“ helps Malaysian suppliers go global and we hope to help meaningfully in the crucial recovery phase and hand businesses here with the right confidence and capability to do so,” he said.

TRL South East Asia Sdn Bhd director of sales and marketing Adrian Yoong said is a place for digital transformation to reach a wider market.

“As one of the biggest B2B platform, helps our company to boost sales and increase brand awareness and at the same time offers one-stop solution to the sellers,” he added.