KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is encouraging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate aggressively in the various initiatives undertaken by the trade promotion agency in order to boost their business.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer Sharimahton Mat Saleh said financial assistance offered under the Market Development Grant (MDG), for example, could help SMEs realise their goal to expand further.
"This year, the MDG allocation has been raised to RM40 million compared with RM27 million and RM35 million in 2017 and 2016, respectively," she told a press conference here today.
The incentive is one of the initiatives undertaken by MATRADE to help SMEs become active e-commerce participants and to eventually turn them into exporters.
"We want SMEs to play a bigger role in the economy. As of now, only 18.6% of our SMEs are exporters and our target is to increase that number to 23% by 2020," she said.
Meanwhile, Sharimahton said Malaysian companies preferred business to customers' platforms compared with business-to-business platforms.
"This is because they preferred to deal straight with customers and that is why social media platforms such as Facebook assumed an important role," she said.
Asked on what was the main hindrance to SMEs going global, she said that a majority of them did not have any knowledge on which was the potential market for their products.