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A 5 Year Strategic Plan to Put Malaysia at the Top

by Gopalakrishnan Nair

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob has launched the National Trade Blueprint or NTBp, a blueprint to increase Malaysia’s trade competitiveness through improved business ecosystem.

Ismail said that the Blueprint outlines a 5-year (2021-2025) development strategy and initiatives to enhance Malaysia’s trade competitiveness, specifically in the exports of merchandise. The Blueprint aims to position Malaysia as a dynamic and pre-eminent trading nation through sustainable export development.

The Blueprint provides opportunities to augment Malaysia’s institutional frameworks to lift export economy onto a growth trajectory. To achieve this, NTBp complements other current policies and masterplans by converging objectives, reconciling initiatives, and bringing together the various stakeholders in the value chain towards the central goal of an export framework. It aims to attune to the current trade landscape in the light of the rapidly evolving global trends while addressing the business community’s needs.

The Blueprint’s framework is guided by 4 strategic priorities, 3 strategic themes and 8 strategic thrusts with 40 recommendations to improve and enhance Malaysia’s trade competitiveness.Among the specific areas under the ecosystem covered by the NTBp are Trade Facilitation & Logistics, Standards & Conformance, Trade Promotion & Market Access, Sustainability & Innovation, Digitalisation & Technology as well as Investment and Branding.

Each strategic thrust will pursue a set of key strategies according to the specific areas to fulfil its strategic aim. A number of action plans are identified that will facilitate and enhance trade competitiveness throughout the business ecosystem.

The achievements of NTBp through the outcomes and impacts of its action plan under the 8 strategic thrusts will support the realisation of the export target of 12th Malaysia Plan and its priority goals.

Senior Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who is also the Minister of International Trade and Industry, thanked various parties involved in the development of the Blueprint. “It is heartening to note that the synergies between the public and private sectors in pooling their resources to formulate this valuable document as we continue working to propel the nation’s economy”, he said.

The development of the Blueprint took one year to complete and involved participation from both public and private sectors.

To implement and monitor the recommendations, 8 Working Groups (WGs) have been formed according to their specific areas within the ecosystem. For efficiency, these WGs shall report to the existing Jawatankuasa Koordinasi Eksport (JK-X), chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia. Concerted efforts from Ministries, Agencies and other stakeholders within the business ecosystem is crucial to ensure successful implementation of NTBp.

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