KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd have accelerated efforts to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to build export resilience and attain new growth.

The collaboration falls under the auspices of the SMEs Sustainable Exporters Programme that was launched in October 2019, with the goal of building capacity in sustainability for Malaysian exporters.

In partnership with sustainability consultancy IMPACTO, MATRADE-CIMB successfully completed the pilot orientation for the pioneer batch of 40 SMEs from the food and beverage (F&B) sector in June.

Leveraging on the potential of digital platforms, the session was conducted virtually, mainly focusing on shaping a sustainable business by managing unprecedented risks such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first session, delivered as a 2.5-hour webinar, equipped SMEs with insights on risk management strategies and sustainability standards, supported by an effective business continuity plan.

“Sustainability can help SMEs meet the export requirements of other countries and successfully tap new markets.

“Many developed economies, as well as informed consumers, prefer a product that has been produced sustainably,” MATRADE deputy chief executive officer, Exporter Development, Sharimahton Mat Saleh said in a statement today.  

Meanwhile, CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd chief executive officer Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff said with the introduction of various sustainable solutions, SMEs are not only given access to the global market but also incentivised for operating responsibly by integrating principles of sustainability into their daily business processes.

“Looking at the challenges faced by SMEs during this pandemic, it was quite impactful to have them on board this programme and see how crucial it is to be sustainability ready and build resilience to grow,” he added.

The next session of the SMEs Sustainable Exporters Programme is scheduled for July 21, 2020.


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