Sunday, September 19

New Matrade boss wants M’sia to emerge among top 20 largest exporter

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KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), hopes Malaysia will emerge among the top 20 largest exporting country by 2020.

“Malaysia must be well supported with great trade activities in its aspiration to become a well developed and high-income nation by 2020.

“I want the country to become more export-oriented internationally as right now Malaysia seems to be a trade champion in the regional activities and among the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries.

“It is essential for us to ensure Malaysia be recognised worldwide for its good quality and innovative export products,” he told reporters at his maiden press conference after taking over office on Monday.

Malaysia was ranked 23rd as the world’s largest exporting country in 2014, improving two notches from 25th place in 2013, said Dzulkifli who succeeded Datuk Dr Wong Lai Sum, who has retired.

Dzulkifli said his top three focus would be to boost exports, to increase small-and-medium enterprise participation in the export sector and to ensure Malaysia remained competitive in terms of products and services offered.

“SME contribution to the export sector only hovered around 19 per cent and this will be boosted to 25 per cent by 2020 in line with the aspiration set in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“We will continue supporting local SMEs with programmes such as ‘Large-Corp’, ‘Going Export (Go-Ex)’, ‘e-Trade’ programmes and market development grants in collaboration with the SME Bank and EXIM Bank,” he said.

On the ringgit’s depreciation, Dzulkifli said the current rate benefited exporters but the local unit should stabilise in the long-term. — Bernama