MATRADE And CIMB Group Partners To Enhance Local Exporters’ Capabilities

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) collaborates with CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (“the Group” or “CIMB”) to boost Malaysian exporters readiness in Economic, Environmental and Social (“EES”) areas through a series of training sessions which will begin in March 2020.

SMEs Sustainable Exporters Programme is an initiative under Sustainability Action Values for Exporters (SAVE) campaign by MATRADE, aims to train and benefit up to 400 SMEs in sustainability policies and practices for their businesses and operations, particularly to equip them for markets that have embraced or are moving towards the EES principles.

The MoU was signed by MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Wan Latiff Wan Musa and Group CEO, CIMB Group, Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz. The MoU exchange was witnessed by Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry, YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming and MATRADE Chairman Tan Sri Dr. Halim Mohammad.

According to Wan Latiff, the series of training with CIMB Group will not only increase the companies’ understanding in sustainability but influence their move towards the transformation needed.

The Public-Private Partnership is reflective of MATRADE’s leadership role in enhancing Malaysian exporters’ adoption of sustainability practices in their export business.

“We are seeing a strong shift towards sustainability among global businesses and industry policy makers, especially in high-value markets such as China, the United States and Europe. This is mainly driven by the world’s business community commitment to United Nations’ Sustainable Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. Malaysian exporters need to respond to this by preparing themselves to be sustainability-ready so they can future-proof their footprint globally. Failing to comply may result in their products or services being denied entry into certain markets,” Wan Latiff shared.

The global consumers are increasingly becoming more conscious on sustainability and they translate this into the way they purchase their products and services. Hence, our local exporters must embrace sustainability so they have a strategic advantage when exporting to the world while at the same time contributing to well-being of the environment and society.

Tengku Zafrul said, “CIMB is pleased to be the first bank to work with MATRADE on this SMEspecific programme to build their EES capabilities. This supports our national objective to have SMEs contribute 50 percent of Malaysia’s GDP by 2030, and also helps Malaysian SMEs tap into the USD7.87 trillion global green economy. More importantly, it prepares them for a situation where non-compliance with EES issues could break a business. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to Malaysian SMEs, and in championing BNM’s concept of Value-Based Intermediation (VBI) in the local Islamic banking industry. Our focus on SMEs’ sustainability is just one of the many initiatives by CIMB to become a visible shaper of and catalyst for EES practices in ASEAN, as outlined in our growth strategy, Forward23.”

Sustainability and Inclusiveness are the fundamental principles of the recently launched Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and this Vision will be the guiding principles for all Government initiatives, to be articulated through the 12th and 13th Malaysia Plans (2021 to 2030).

In order to achieve the goals mapped out, it is critical that the Public and Private sector to join forces and collaborate to push the sustainability agenda among Malaysian businesses, particularly exporters.

The SAVE Campaign, launched in October last year, is MATRADE’s 5-year plan to facilitate Malaysian exporters’ move towards sustainability. The effort involves capacity building activities, benchmarking through sustainability reporting, business matching for sustainable Malaysian exporters and recognition through Awards.

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