10 September 2021

Kuala Lumpur: A Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between CIMB Islamic Bank (CIMB Islamic), Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre (MGTC), was signed in conjunction with MIHAS 2021. This strategic collaboration is aimed to accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s green exporters by nurturing SMEs through a series of coordinated initiatives along the sustainability ecosystem, in positioning Malaysia as a Sustainable Trading Nation. 


The partnership also reflects Malaysia's commitment in streamlining with global trends that demand for more sustainable products and services. This was clearly shown by a report from FTSERussell that the global green market value was valued at USD4.3 trillion in 2020. Realising the importance of sustainability agenda for Malaysian economy and exports, MATRADE has embarked on its own sustainability initiative, namely the Corporate Shared Values Programme for exporters, or known as Sustainability Action Values for Exports (SAVE). SAVE, a programme with a high-level objective of engaging Malaysian exporters to embrace the best practices of sustainability, was launched on 9th October 2019.


Following the launching of SAVE, MATRADE inked an MoU with CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (CIMB) on 4th February 2020 and conducted a series of SAVE awareness and capacity building programmes to enhance SME exporters’ understanding on sustainability in the context of international markets. These included subjects such as benefit and cost of sustainability as well as developing and implementing a sustainability plan. In 2020, a total of 196 SMEs exporters participated in the joint programmes. 


The MoC will feature specific roles by the three parties; CIMB Islamic will focus on providing financial facilities and facilitating consultancy, for exporters through its global network, MGTC will lend their expertise in creating awareness of local and internationally recognised sustainable standards and certification for exporters, while MATRADE will complement with marketing and promotion of green exporters through its globally connected network.


CIMB Islamic, MATRADE and MGTC have pledged their full commitment to work closely together in realising the vision of the MoC in identifying ‘green trade corridors’ and mobilising a unified support ecosystem to help kickstart and propel SMEs forward by taking advantage of these corridors. 


According to MATRADE’s Chief Executive Officer, En. Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz, the tripartite collaboration between MATRADE, MGTC and CIMB Islamic is timely to drive and strengthen Malaysia green exports. “Among others, this strategic partnership will expand the pool of potential green exporters beyond our current registry, thus opening up wider opportunities for green SMEs to go global. Besides, complying to sustainability requirements would enable exporters to enhance their competitiveness in the international market through better access and stronger demand. We look forward for this MoC to provide a more coordinated and structured effort in developing and supporting Malaysia’s green exporters as well as enhancing Malaysia’s global branding.”


Ts. Shamsul Bahar Mohd Nor, Chief Executive Officer MGTC said, “It is imperative to establish the right partnership in charting the path towards Malaysia’s green economy and supporting Malaysia’s green industry players in the international market. It is crucial to develop the right ecosystem to push for a greener economic sector which later contribute to the overall Malaysia economy in the long run. In positioning Malaysia as a Sustainable Trading Nation, the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM) has established itself as South East Asia’s largest trade event for green technologies and eco solutions. However, in order to have better access to global market, it is important for companies to meet the sustainability requirements which MGTC will continue to support and facilitate in their journey.”


En. Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad said, “The Malaysian Green Exporters Programme is a natural complement to CIMB’s GreenBizReady initiative, a one-stop solution for launching Malaysian SMEs on their sustainability journey, with an allocation of RM250 million until 2024. It is also aligned with CIMB Islamic’s commitment to Value-Based Intermediation as a responsible Islamic banking institution, with practices and offerings that generate a positive and sustainable impact to the economy. With this tripartite collaboration through the MoC with MATRADE and MGTC, CIMB would be able to continue delivering support for capacity building to SMEs in fulfilling their sustainability aspirations. CIMB’s Trade Club Alliance, a global network made up of 14 banking groups from around the world further adds tremendous value as a global trade gateway for businesses to scale not only locally but globally.”


The principles of environmental, social and governance in sustainability (ESG) have become an integral part of business management. Global consumers are advocating for supporting and buying products from companies that are committed to sustainability. As for the businesses themselves, Covid-19 pandemic has increased the need to embrace sustainability and this was reflected by the fact that companies which have adopted sustainable practices and involved in green oriented exports were shown to rebound faster as compared to others who have not.