SMEs urged to capitalise on RCEP to enhance presence in regional supply chain
15 Jul 2021
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to tap into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement to strengthen their presence in the regional supply chain.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Senator Datuk Lim Ban Hong said by tapping into RCEP, the SMEs could meet the potential demand of 2.2 billion population across 15 countries.
“As with the rest of the existing free trade agreement (FTA) partners, we strongly encourage companies to leverage on this facility to better position their exports and maximise access to the partner countries and its other FTA partners,” he said in his closing remarks at the virtual eNational Export Day (eNED) 2021 programme today.
To date, Malaysia has signed seven bilateral FTAs and nine regional FTAs, with the most recent one being the RCEP, which is designed to broaden and deepen ASEAN’s engagement with Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.
Lim said beside FTAs, Malaysian companies are urged to comply with international requirements, standards and certifications, as well as fulfil business practices that are in conformity with international standards and aligned with the spirit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Moving forward, he said the sustainability agenda is another initiative that the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) will continue to champion.
Sustainability is a trending topic that continues to make headlines across the globe, particularly among exporters as other countries are starting to prioritise this agenda in its trade regulations and compliance.
“In preparing themselves ahead of the future challenges or opportunities in trade, companies need to incorporate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) elements in their business processes and business model. This would help bolster Malaysia’s standing in the global trade,” Lim said.
The growing concern related to environment, economic factors, and the regulatory framework has forced many industries and businesses to face the challenges head on.
Amidst the global uncertainties, ESG has also become a risk management play, especially in supply chain. To ensure Malaysian goods and products are continuously attractive to the global consumers, sustainability is a must adopt strategy by Malaysian industries, he added.