PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE 2022/2023
SMITA Malaysia was incorporated with a mission to assist all SMEs to trade internationally as the world has now transformed into a borderless market with so many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) being signed, trade barriers being lifted, procedures being harmonised and many new markets being discovered.
SMITA is Malaysia’s premier international trade organisation providing a strong platform and professional advice and guidance to entrepreneurs who are either thinking of going into international business or who are already doing business internationally, be it in manufacturing, services or trading.
SMITA works closely with local government ministries and agencies and its partners around the world to promote international trade.
Year 2020 was certainly a very challenging year with the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring Covid-19 a global pandemic on March 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has reached almost every country in the world and has affected many country’s economies badly. Despite the development of new vaccines, many are still wondering what recovery could look like.
The travel industry has been badly damaged, with airlines cutting flights and customers cancelling business trips and holidays. New variants of the virus - discovered only in recent months - have forced many countries to introduce tighter travel restrictions.
Retail business suffers as shoppers stay at home. Nevertheless, this change in shopping behaviour has significantly boosted online retail, with a global revenue of US$3.9 trillion in 2020. While some business suffers, pharmaceutical companies are among the winners with governments around the world pledging billions of dollars for Covid-19 vaccines and treatment options.
SMITA was closely monitoring the situation and quickly embarked on digital transformation process to assist SMEs to continue to do business with other countries despite the restrictions to travel. Before the pandemic, many SMEs were still comfortable with domestic markets and reluctant to move out from their comfort zone. But they started to change and have moved on and adapted to the new normal in doing business with meetings conducted online, business matchings done virtually, and many have started to promote their products through e-commerce platforms.
During this time, we had teamed up with Mervyn Carney Group, the international business growth consulting and advisory arm of SMITA to assist SMEs in preparing short-term and long-term business plans. Thereafter Mervyn Carney Group assists to implement and achieve the goals set out in the plans.
Mervyn Carney Group offers business solutions to help SMEs in accessing capital and solving business problems, allowing SME owners to free up time to grow their business. As for medium-sized businesses, which have their own unique set of challenges, Mervyn Carney Group helps them to develop systems, compliance and processes to compete with large companies at domestic and international markets while keeping smaller businesses’ agility.
In order to assist and give extra push to these companies to move forward, SMITA has declared 2022/2023 as the YEAR OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MATCHING (Hybrid model) where we will be having many business matching sessions both virtually and physically.
To prepare SMITA members and companies in Malaysia in sharpening their skills to do business globally, SMITA organises virtual events such as the SMITA Global Trade eXchange (GTeX) and SMITA Webinar Series on a regular basis, covering topics on market access to various parts of in the world.
SMITA is a partner to Standards Malaysia, a government agency and accreditation body that oversees the accreditation of over 6000 standards in the country. SMITA also has strong relationships with other local and foreign government agencies which are related to international trade to promote bilateral trade.
Since its incorporation, SMITA has established international collaborations in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile to benefit from the market of Pacific Alliance countries and also China, United Kingdom, Argentina, Thailand, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
In recognition of the problems faced by Malaysian companies in exporting, SMITA has launched SMITA Academy in 2019. SMITA Academy is the training arm of SMITA Malaysia and SMITA Global that provides trainings and solutions to bridge the skill gaps in international business. Our courses cover essential topics and skills for international business expansion such as Effective Business Matching Skills, Export Readiness, Business Pitching, International Business Culture etc.
SMITA has also set up SMITA International Market Procurement Centre (SIMPC) to assist SMEs to export their products and services with ease, and at the same time facilitate them to source for raw materials for their products and also business partners from different countries.
SMITA pledges to do its utmost best to assist all SMEs to venture successfully into the international market.
If you are in line with our mission and objectives, I would certainly urge you to join SMITA and work with us to expand your business globally.