The Budget 2018 announced the right impetus to increase the participation of Malaysian companies in international trade. The Budget’s policy intent is to strengthen MATRADE’s export promotion and export development initiatives will further strengthen Malaysia’s external trade performance.
The budget of RM150 million allocated for MATRADE, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and SME Corp. will be channeled to enhance companies’ market expansion through export promotion activities including for the Market Development Grant (MDG). These export promotion activities will be focused in key markets where Malaysia has Free Trade Agreements with and markets with high demand for Malaysian exports especially in sectors such as Furniture, Electrical & Electronics, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Oil and Gas, Food & Beverage (F&B), Construction and others.
In providing financial support for Malaysian companies, RM200 million of credit facility for export will be provided by EXIM Bank to local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Also, RM1 billion is allocated for credit insurance for companies and loan facility amounting RM100 million with 70 percent Government surety to encourage automation among the local furniture companies will definitely boost production for export.
Over the last 10 years, MIDF has approved over RM 1.5 billion of loans under Soft Loan Scheme for Automation and Modernisation (SLSAM).- an amount which is still small given the importance of automation especially in current business landscape as well as the pressing need not only to reduce dependence on foreign workers, but also to create more high income jobs.
The provision of RM 245 worth of matching grant under the Strategic Domestic Investment Fund will upgrade the Smart Manufacturing Facilities, which are an important dimension of Industry 4.0. The government is commited in providing necessary ecosystem that will encourage and facilitate more companies to innovate and adopt Industry 4.0 elements in their business processes.
In addition, the budget will also be utilised to enhance the development of Malaysian companies through programmes such as Go-Ex, Bumiputera, Women and Youth Exporters Development Programme (BWYEDP), Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP) and eTRADE Programme.
“It is imperative that the Malaysian exporters community continue to receive strong support from the Malaysian Government through both export promotion and exporters development activities. The Budget announced today will support MATRADE’s continuous efforts in strengthening Malaysia’s trade balance,” said MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer Ir. Dr. Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen Madros.
The share of exports in Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) currently stands at 67.7 percent, indicating external trade’s importance to Malaysia’s economy. As such the support to ramp up export-based programmes will ensure our capabality to sustain Malaysia’s competitiveness globally.
MATRADE’s initiatives will also be complemented by zero-cost programmes organised in collaboration between MATRADE and other agencies, private sector, business chambers, business councils and trade associations. MATRADE, as Malaysia’s only trade promotion agency under Ministry of International Trade and Industry, will continue adopting smart partnerships so it can facilitate more Malaysian businesses to venture abroad without depending on budget allocation.
In an effort to encourage export among beginner-level and mid-level SMEs, strong emphasis will be put into promoting market access through digital platform by maximizing the potential of the eTRADE Programme. The programme is designed to accelerate Malaysian exporters’ market access by getting them onboard leading global eMarketplaces such as,,,, and
As for encouraging more export sales, MATRADE aims to build up industry’s export strength in high-value sectors such as aerospace, petrochemical, automotive parts & components, E&E, ICT, medical tourism and construction services through policy intervention developed by the National Export Council chaired by the Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. The budget will also lead to more export promotion programmes overseas that will be coordinated by MATRADE’s 47 trade offices in major cities around the world.
In first eight months of 2017 (Jan – Aug 2017), there was unprecedented growth in Malaysia’s trade. Growth has exceeded 20 percent every single month of the year, except for January and June. Malaysia’s total trade breached the RM1 trillion mark in July this year as opposed to September last year. The trade surplus has also been healthy, increasing to RM60.84 billion for the first eight months of 2017. In the same period last year, it stood at RM52.47 billion. This year we are likely to see a slight increase in the trade surplus compared to RM88.15 billion in the whole of last year.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, commonly known as Industrial 4.0 in Germany was introduced by a German economist, Klaus Schwab in 2015. It corporates advanced sensors, machine-to-machine communication links, 3-D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and cloud computing technology. These cyber-physical platform monitor factory processes and make decentralised, self governing decisions, leading to “intelligent” or “smart” factories. Industry 4.0 covers the entire value chain, including suppliers, procurement, design, logistics and even sales, resulting in higher productivity and flexibility. There will be less wastage or storage, better monitoring and maintenance of machinery, and improved security and safety.

Smart Manufacturing is the catchphrase nowadays in Malaysia’s media coverage. This has been further reaffirmed that we are in the process of formulating the National Industry 4.0 Blueprint, which is expected to be ready before the end of 2017. 

According to the Minister of MITI, more than 5,000 multinational companies (MNCs) in Malaysia have embraced the challenges of the technological evolution. Based on research conducted by PwC, Industry 4.0 sees a promising future in the digitization of products and services and means of robotic manufacturing and engineering – companies expect to reduce operational costs by 3.6% per annum while increasing efficiency by 4.1% annually – over the course of five years.

There is a lot to be said however, Malaysia is still lagging behind Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar in the pecking order which they already have Industry 4.0 policy frameworks. With only three years left to 2020, most of the companies have started to generate new applications and find ways to leverage on these technologies to their competitive advantages – that are not only beneficial to consumers but also profitable to the market.

Bringing the Industrial 4.0 to AUTOMEX

As the organiser of the largest machine tools and metalworking trade show, we felt it is vital to take the lead by bringing together the local and international companies all under one roof to experience the revolution.
AUTOMEX is the only platform which showcase the Industrial 4.0 technology and organise seminar activities that covers all of major industrial smart manufacturing topics. 

The exhibitors will demonstrate how machines and work with human workers and offers support in factories. More than 2,000 participating companies and over 21,000 trade professionals, decision-makers, potential buyers and partners from over 40 countries are expected to attend the show.