Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) urges Malaysian business community, particularly the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to come forward and utilise the market development grant (MDG) allocated by the government to assist them in penetrating the international market.
MDG is a scheme introduced to assist the SMEs, service providers,
cooperatives, trade and industry associations of commerce and professional bodies in undertaking export promotion activities, including intellectual property (IP) registration.
Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud, Senior director, Exporters Development Division said the government has increased MDG allocation to RM52 million this year from RM22.5 million in 2011 as the scope of activities included had widened to see more companies spreading their wings abroad.
As at July, some RM11.4 million had been utilised for 1,229 companies compared with RM12.3 million used for 1,300 companies last year, he told reporters at the “Going Global: How IP Rights Can Protect Your Business” seminar hosted by Matrade.
Matrade has targeted some 2,500 companies to utilise the MDG by end of the year.
He said awareness level among the business community is increasing moderately and the government wants to assist more parties to tap the international market.
“Each applicant is eligible for up to RM100,000 including for participation in trade and investment mission, international conferences, display at Malaysian Export Exhibition Centre, registration of international IP and certification overseas and setting up of representative office as well as listing of products in the international supermarkets overseas,” he explained.
Dzulkifli said Malaysian business community should look at non-traditional markets to export as the demand is there.
Meanwhile, he said it is most imperative for SMEs to acquire Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for their products and services locally and overseas.
IPRs are the rights given to a person over their creations which will enable the creator the right over the use of the creation for a certain period of time.
“People often neglect the importance of protecting their business and IPR can create value and competitive advantages that significantly improve the company’s ability to generate revenue.
“A company’s brand signifies a good example of intellectual property and can be one of the most valuable assets of the business,” he said.
Hence, by obtaining IPRs, SMEs can account the entire value of the company and represent a crucial differentiating factor from competitors in the marketplace.
“SMEs must think seriously on the importance of having IPRs registered as they will have difficulties to export and market their products and services without the required certifications that meet international standards.
“IPRs is also vital for further promotion to enhance their position in marketplace overseas,” DZulkifli added.