Based on 2016 Malaysian External Trade Statistics published by MITI on 8 Feb 2017, China continued to be the largest trading partner with Malaysia for the 8th consecutive year since 2009. While exports to China were valued at RM98.56billion, declined by 2.9%; imports increased by 10.1% to RM142.35billion. China was Malaysia’s largest import source with 20.4% share of total imports in 2016. Higher imports were registered for petroleum products, E&E products, chemicals and chemical products as well as machinery, equipment and parts.
With the growth of China’s overall import into Malaysia, and the exponential growth in global eCommerce, the threat to our local SMEs especially for those who have not embraced eCommerce, is real.
On this basis therefore, the Government recognises that local SMEs must leverage on the opportunities provided by eCommerce and digital technology for wider market access to global markets; and that local SMEs need to be upskilled to be able compete globally. Key initiatives by the Government and key agencies such as MDEC, MATRADE and SME Corp include:
(a) Promoting the benefits of eCommerce to SMEs to create greater awareness
(b) Expanding market access of our local SMEs by onboarding them onto various regional and global eMarketplaces and by bringing in foreign buyers for business matchings with our local suppliers
(c) Upskilling local SMEs in eCommerce capability through initiative such as “Go eCommerce” https://www.go-ecommerce.my/
(d) Driving demand of Malaysian products via focused promotions and campaigns on various regional and global eMarketplaces
With opportunities provided by DFTZ, many local SMEs have successfully exported to new markets, such as fresh coconuts to Poland, frozen shrimps to Italy, traditional musical instruments to USA and traditional cookies to South Africa, etc.