Expo 2020 Dubai helps Malaysia’s quest to boost investment, trade, business opportunities
01 Apr 2022
The six-month Expo 2020 Dubai, which concluded on March 31, 2022 in a spectacular closing ceremony, has spurred Malaysia’s journey and success in boosting investment, trade and business opportunities.
For the records, until March 29 alone, Malaysia achieved potential trade, investment and business projections worth more than RM70 billion during the 26 weekly programmes, thus exceeding the targets.
Besides, more than 400 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Malaysia were given the opportunity to spread their wings internationally through participation at the world fair, making it an avenue for them to expand their business and explore new opportunities abroad. .
In fact, the government bore the participation fee of all the MSMEs at the fair which began on Oct 1, 2021, and they only had to foot the bill for accommodation and plane tickets.
Since 2020, Malaysia and the rest of the world have been struggling with slow economic growth due COVID-19, and it was not until recently that steps were taken to revive the economy and Expo 2020 Dubai, which was delayed by a year due to the pandemic, was a good avenue to move in that direction. .
For Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Malaysia’s participation was considered successful as it had surpassed the targets, including in terms of the number of companies that inked the cooperation agreements and the total financial value achieved.
He said what was important was the avenue and potentials for entrepreneurs, including MSMEs, that participated in Expo 2020 Dubai this time around.
“The goal was to help small entrepreneurs. They were happy with the opportunities available. Some entrepreneurs will sign MOUs (Memoranda of Understanding) even though the expo has ended,” he said.
The Prime Minister said many new areas could be explored by Malaysian companies jointly with their international counterparts that were involved in various industries, including those in the halal and pharmaceutical sectors.
“This is a new business area that Malaysia is highlighting. We focus on the halal industry, as it is worth more than RM1 trillion due to the large number of Muslim population.
“It is also not only for Muslims but also non-Muslims as it is related to the purity of food,” he said during his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai during a stopover after an official visit to Qatar recently.
Meanwhile, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the Malaysian government through Malaysia’s participation at the expo themed ‘Energising Sustainability’ proved its commitment towards balancing socio-economic progress and its impact on the environment.
“This narrative clearly demonstrates Malaysia’s seriousness in addressing issues related to climate change and continuous action in conserving forests as national treasures. Malaysia’s seriousness in this matter is clearly proven through the creation of the frainforest-inspired Malaysia Pavilion which was the only net-zero carbon structure (at the fair),” he said.
He said the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” symbolised the commitment and strong fighting spirit of the global community in navigating COVID-19.
“Malaysia is no exception as it is one of the countries tested and devastated by the pandemic. However, Malaysia is a country with a strong fighting spirit and it remains committed to upholding the country’s name on the world stage,” he said.
For the MSMEs involved, Expo 2020 Dubai has helped them find avenue and business opportunities to go global, as well as aided Malaysia go through the process of economic recovery.
Kloth Malaysia Sdn Bhd co-founder Nik Suzila Nik Hassan said the government’s assistance at Expo 2020 Dubai has enabled her company to showcase textile products made from used plastic bottles.
“I’ve met stakeholders and held business-matching sessions. The government helped me find potential investors, partners and affiliates. For Expo 2020 Dubai, we were also involved in producing shirts for the Malaysian delegates using plastic bottles.
“(The Malaysian delegates) at the Dubai Expo wore shirts from plastic bottles that we’d produced (700 shirts in total). The number of plastic bottles was over 15,000. With the technology we have, we were asked to produce clothes for the expo,” she said.
She said her company had been involved in the effort since 2014, where more than 180,000 plastic bottles had been turned into uniforms, but the exposure at Expo 2020 Dubai gave her a new experience to expand the potential of her business.