Selangor Journal
Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz speaks at the reopening ceremony of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation office in Singapore, on June 14, 2024. — Picture by BERNAMA

New Matrade office in Singapore will boost bilateral trade — Tengku Zafrul

SINGAPORE, June 14 — The reopening of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation’s (Matrade) trade office at Robinson Road here is timely to enhance trade and investment between Malaysia and Singapore, said Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said this addition to Matrade’s global network, at a time of “slowbalisation” and amid the formulation of the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ), will help ensure Malaysia and its firms are at the forefront of action.

“Over the past three years, what’s happening in the world is that we are facing a phase where globalisation is slowing down, or as some term it, ‘slowbalisation’. So where have the flows gone? Southeast Asia, like it or not, has been a net beneficiary of that flow.

“As we see higher flows, we believe Malaysia should ensure our companies have access to these flows, and that’s why we are reopening the Singapore office,” he told Malaysian media after inaugurating the new office today.

The office is located at Level 12, 61 Robinson Road.

The minister described Matrade’s new office as pivotal for business engagement, particularly with the impending completion of the JS-SEZ by year-end.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul noted that heading into the Malaysia-Singapore Annual Leader’s Retreat, possibly in September, his ministry’s priorities include reviewing the frameworks on cooperation (FoC) in digital economy and green economy and strengthening supply chain resilience between the two countries.

“At this year’s annual leaders’ retreat, we want to see the outcomes of what was announced last year regarding the FoCs. On the supply chain, we already have a working group on that, and hopefully, by that leaders’ retreat, we can produce something more substantive,” he said.

During the event, Tengku Zafrul witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Matrade and Amazon Global Selling, aimed at facilitating Malaysian brands’ cross-border e-commerce transactions and growth through training workshops.

He said collaborations like this will help Malaysian enterprises, including micro, small and medium enterprises tap into significant opportunities in Asean and beyond.

“E-commerce platforms are going to play a role in increasing intra-Asean trade. Currently, intra-Asean trade stands at only around 23 per cent, so there are opportunities, and I think Matrade plays a key role,” he added.

Matrade in a statement said the MoU will equip Malaysian enterprises with the knowledge and resources to expand their presence on Amazon’s e-Stores and grow their brands in the United States.

The number of new Malaysian sellers exporting their products via Amazon Global Selling nearly doubled in the January-April 2024 period compared with the same period last year.

Also present at the event were Matrade chairman Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, Malaysia High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Azfar Mohamad Mustafar, and Amazon head of global selling (Southeast Asia) Anand Palit.

Meanwhile, Reezal Merican said the reopening of the trade office stands as a resolute testament to Matrade’s unwavering commitment to fostering stronger ties and promoting mutual prosperity.

“The launch of Matrade Singapore marks a significant milestone in Matrade’s global expansion strategy, following recent enhancements to its network of overseas offices, including in key locations such as Paris and Cairo,” he said.

— Bernama

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