Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), in partnership with Facebook and AVANA announced the launch of the “Made by Malaysia, Loved by the World” programme. The programme aims to assist and empower 2,000 business owners and entrepreneurs across Malaysia to export their products and services overseas.
Participating SMEs will gain marketing skills they need to reach global consumers through training and resources including online tools from Facebook. The facilitation of training programmes run by Facebook and AVANA will happen in seven cities namely Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown, Johor Bahru, Alor Setar, and Kota Bahru.
Throughout the events, MATRADE will also be enhancing awareness of its eTRADE programme to small medium enterprises (SMEs). The programme offers SMEs financial assistance valued at MYR5,000, which can be utilised for the “Made by Malaysia, Loved by the World” programme.
Malaysia is the third launch of its kind in the world for Facebook, and the first of its kind in Asia, with successful stints in South Korea and Taiwan.
The programme combines Facebook’s marketing solutions and insights, AVANA’s e-commerce platform, and MATRADE’s deep experience in bridging Malaysian companies with global markets.
“At Facebook, we want to enable connections, not just transactions. With more than 2.2 billion people on Facebook worldwide, our goal is to help SMEs find people who share the same passion for products and services,” said Nicole Tan, Country Director at Facebook Malaysia.
The numbers don’t lie. There are more than 70 million small businesses on Facebook globally, with over 87 million people on Facebook across the world already connected to small businesses in Malaysia. In Malaysia, over 76 percent of people on Facebook are connected to a local Malaysian business.
Made local, sell global
Next, let’s look at some numbers, specifically in the small medium enterprise category. Between 2004 and 2017, real GDP growth of SMEs has consistently outperformed the overall economy, averaging 6.6 percent compared to 5.1 percent for overall GDP.
In 2017, SMEs contributed MYR435.1 billion, that’s a higher real GDP growth of 7.2 percent compared to overall GDP growth of 5.9 percent.
MATRADE estimates that by 2020, SMEs will contribute 41 percent to the country’s GDP, with exports hitting 23 percent and employment at 65 percent.
This is substantial contribution to the country’s economy, which explains why various Government agencies like MATRADE and SME Corp are undertaking long term plans to develop SMEs beyond 2020.
Research have revealed that local SMEs, much like their counterparts across the Asia Pacific region, have taken the initiative to grow their businesses through the adoption of new technologies, infrastructure-building, and expansion into international markets. Malaysia has a high rate of e-commerce (90%), mobile-commerce (87%) and social-commerce (86%) compared to other markets in APAC.
This reiterates the importance of online tools in facilitating international trade. In a survey done in 2018 by Facebook, it was discovered that 82 percent of exporting SMEs say that at least half of their exports depended on usage of online tools. Importantly, 65 percent of exporters agree that using online tools for selling internationally increased their revenue.
With this private-public sector collaboration, SMEs will be better equipped to keep up with today’s market changes and consumer expectations. Armed with digital knowledge and expertise, Malaysian companies can then move up the value chain to compete in the global stage.
The growing importance of e-commerce in Asia as well as the world at large cannot be underestimated. The ASEAN region is a huge market for e-commerce with a population of 641 million, USD 2.777 trillion GDP and per capita income of USD4,305. While e-commerce is still in a nascent stage, the ingredients for future success is there including robust yearly economic growth of over five percent, a vibrant middle class and a young population (60-70 percent are below the age of 40).
AVANA, the largest home-grown social commerce platform in Malaysia with a regional footprint, is the perfect candidate to help SMEs harness technology and automate their processes to expand their presence globally.
For more information on the Made by Malaysia, Loved by the World initiative, head over to https://madebyyou.fb.com/my.