The Market Development Grant (MDG) under the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) now has a value-added criteria to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) boost their sales in markets beyond Malaysia against the backdrop of COVID-19, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Deputy Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said the criteria includes allowing applications for reimbursements of expenditures for participation in virtual international trade exhibitions, as well as business meetings through virtual trade missions.
Local SMEs can also leverage the MDG to reimburse the expenses incurred due to cancellations or postponements of trade events.
This particular facilitation covers the cost borne by SMEs such as non-refundable participation fees, airfares and accommodations of up to RM25,000 per claim.
Another support introduced via the MDG is the reimbursement of logistics costs incurred by the SMEs due to the global shutdown.
This temporary relief is allowed for reimbursement of up to 30 per cent of logistics cost or up to RM15,000 per shipment, and this includes the cost of transportation, warehousing and freight.
“While the pandemic has affected various trade exhibitions held globally, local businesses should not miss out on the opportunities to sell their products or services abroad, and they can still do so via digital means. This will definitely make them more agile in responding to global markets situations,” Lim said in a statement today.
Citing an example, he said the world-renowned Canton Fair, which is dubbed the gateway into China’s market has now transformed their event into a virtual interactive platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Similarly, other trade exhibitions globally are also gaining wider audience reach by moving towards virtual trade exhibitions.
These virtual trade fairs utilise state-of-the-art video conferencing, live streaming and interactive multimedia-rich platforms to facilitate engagement of the participants.
To date, the MDG has assisted 23,937 Malaysian exporters to promote local products and services globally and a total of RM388.7 million has been disbursed to support these SMEs.
For the past five years, SMEs that benefited from the grant have reported an accumulative export sales of RM8.72 billion.
MITI said up to September this year, 1,173 companies benefited from the MDG, with a total of RM19.7 million disbursed.
A survey conducted by MATRADE in 2019 showed that more than 92 per cent of SMEs agreed that the MDG played a significant role in their export business, while 90 per cent said the MDG helped increase their export sales.
“The MDG will undoubtedly support the country’s economic recovery by ensuring local SMEs can continue to export in the current economic climate. I hope more companies will utilise the grant to ramp up their exports during this challenging time,” Lim said.
Malaysian SMEs keen to use the MDG facilitation must first register as a MATRADE member via www.matrade.gov.my and all applications for the MDG can be made online via the same website.
For more information, contact MDG hotline at 03- 62077593 or email to [email protected]