I wish to take this opportunity to welcome all of you to this Promotion Conference on “The 15th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) 2018” and would like to express our appreciation to the CAEXPO secretariat for not only sponsoring the roadshow in Johor and Sarawak but also for all the cooperation and assistance extended to MATRADE since our first collaboration in 2004 to organise Malaysia’s participation in CAEXPO.
CAEXPO has come a long way and over the years been a very popular trade fair among Malaysian exporters. In fact this is the largest expo that MATRADE had organised in terms of space and the number of participants. Due to the popularity of this expo, every year MATRADE faces the problem of inadequate space to house all the companies interested to participate in CAEXPO. Last year, we received a total application for more than 300 booths but we could only accommodate a maximum of 179 booths in the Malaysia Pavilion.
For your information, sales recorded from our participation in CAEXPO last year increased by 23% to RM405.50 million as compared to 2016 at RM329.60 million. This year MATRADE will still continue to manage the Malaysia Pavilion which occupying a total exhibition space of 3,240 sqm at Hall 13 of the Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre (NICEC). This will enable about 180 companies including government agencies to exhibit in the Malaysia Pavilion. The focused sectors to be promoted are Food and Beverages, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Franchising, Services and Government Agencies.
For the services sector, we will focus on services with high potential such as education, tourism, healthcare, franchising and logistics. Thus, I would like to encourage companies in the identified sectors and companies which are export ready to participate. As at today, MATRADE had received applications for more than 100 booths in this year’s CAEXPO.
Besides promoting your products and services, CAEXPO also host other specialised exhibitions on other sectors such as electronic, electrical and building materials which offer opportunities to all of you to view the latest products and technology from China and ASEAN countries.
The journey to export can be challenging, especially with the current economic landscape with currency fluctuations and many other external challenges. I want to assure you that you are not alone in this journey as you have MATRADE to support you. ‘The Time To Export Is Now’; our tagline is truly what SMEs must remember. In this regards, I would like to encourage all companies to actively participate and leverage on the numerous promotion programmes organised by MATRADE, especially the 15th CAEXPO. This year, MATRADE is organising 100 programmes which include 46 trade promotion programmes and 54 exporters’ development programmes.
As for China, we had lined up 5 major events this year including The 123rd Canton Fair (Spring Session) in Guangzhou, Silk Road International Expo (SRIE) in Xian, 15th China ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Nanning, Automechanika Shanghai and China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. Besides, MATRADE will continue to support and collaborate with the relevant trade associations and chambers of commerce to coordinate other trade promotion programmes which are not in MATRADE’s annual work programme to enhance and position Malaysia’s products and services in the global market.
Beside trade fairs, MATRADE also has other high impact programmmes such as Mid - Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP), Going-Export Programme (Go-Ex), incoming sourcing programme (INSP) and programme specifically designed for Bumiputera, Women and Youth (BWYEDP) and also the eTRADE programme. It is my great hope that more companies could become MATRADE’s members and participate actively in these programmes.
China has always been a focused market in MATRADE’s efforts to increase our exports. With the huge opportunities under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), whereby China had promised to import USD 10 trillion of products, China without doubt has become a heaven for imported products. China itself is not only a huge market but a diverse one with diverse consumer behavior and taste among the different provinces. President Xi Jin Ping at the recently concluded Boao Forum held in Hainan remarked that “We can make the BRI-the broadest platform for international cooperation in keeping with the trend of economic globalization and to the greater benefit of all people”. China has pledged to further open up its market to benefit the global population. The Chinese President Xi had also earmarked Guangxi Zhuang Region with Nanning as its Capital City to be the hub for China-ASEAN trade.
However, one need not run all over China as with the well-developed rail, road and air connectivity as well as low logistics cost, China is easily accessible from any of the provinces. Thus, let us use CAEXPO and Nanning as the entry point as CAEXPO attracts trade visitors from all the provinces in China. In addition, China has a well developed E-commerce ecosystem and also the largest E-commerce market in the world. I hope that Malaysian companies participating in CAEXPO could ride on the E-commerce bandwagon to increase exports to China. MATRADE’s eTRADE programme is to assist companies to be in the E-commerce platforms like Alibaba.com, ule.com, jd.com, tmall.com and etc.
Therefore, while in CAEXPO, companies will have the opportunities to meet up with the platform operators who frequently visit CAEXPO to source for good products. Last year, MATRADE signed a 3 years MoU with China Post in creating a Malaysia Pavilion on its online portal ule.com. It is my hope that more Malaysian companies could leverage on this platform to access the China market.
Lastly, before I end my speech, I hope that from today’s session all of you will get a better understanding about CAEXPO as well as brief information on the China market and it’s potential.