Speech Text – The Launching Of National Trade Blueprint (NTBp)

SPEECH TEXT
YAB PRIME MINISTER
THE LAUNCHING OF
NATIONAL TRADE BLUEPRINT (NTBp)
25 OCTOBER 2021

BISMILLAHIRRAHMAANIRRAHIM
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Salam Keluarga Malaysia,

1. Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali,
Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry

2. Yang Berhormat – Yang Berhormat,

3. Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Mohd Zuki Bin Ali,
Chief Secretary to The Government

4. Secretaries-General of Ministries, Heads of Department,

5. Leaders of Trade and Industry Associations as well as Business Chambers,

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

1. First and foremost, let us express our gratitude to Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala because it is with His permission, that we are gathered virtually here today at the launching ceremony of the National Trade Blueprint.

2. Let me begin by acknowledging that international trade has been the cornerstone of Malaysia’s economic development since our independence in 1957. Over the years, strategic growth policies on trade have remained a key priority in our national agenda. It is imperative that we take pro-active actions to continuously put in place sound policies to ensure a sustainable and healthy trade growth.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

3. Malaysia’s economy has always been dynamic, progressing substantially from agriculture-based, to mining. And now, our economy has evolved from commodity dependence to a more diversified and high- value added manufacturing sector.

4. The ever-changing business landscape – amid rapid globalisation in modern economics – has posed new challenges and notably accelerated advances in science, technology, and innovation, including digital technology, demographic shifts, trends and socio-economic transformations. The digital wave has driven social changes, influenced policies, and changed consumer behaviours. Coupled with intense competition, these have nudged us to respond swiftly to needs in order to stay abreast and rise above others in the global arena.

5. Besides that, sustainability is another initiative the Government will continue instilling among the Malaysian business community. As issues on climate change and forced labour continue to make headlines worldwide, the Government is constantly on standby to stay ahead of the curve. We have long recognised the importance of sustainability in preserving the environment. Adoption of economic sustainable practices will ultimately enhance competitiveness and ensure business continuity of exporters.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

6. History will remember 2020 as a year unlike any other. Within a short time span, COVID-19 brought the world to its knees – impacting global trade and economic wellbeing. Almost instantly, industry confidence was hit hard and this affected our export sector.

7. The Government introduced numerous support, recovery and reform initiatives to safeguard the economy and ensure survivability of businesses, particularly SMEs. In the area of international trade, our immediate priority is to sustain exports and assist local companies in continuing export-related activities. Incidentally, COVID-19 brought about fresh, untapped opportunities to expand our export footprints due to growing external demand.

8. In this sense, I share the sentiments of fellow world leaders. I believe that sustainable development in international trade is critical to the broader economic recovery in the post-COVID world.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

9. The undertaking of a study to develop a national level Blueprint to address issues on trade is seen as timely, given that our beloved nation’s economy is entering the recovery phase.

10. It is with this aspiration, we deliver a 5-year strategic plan in the form of this National Trade Blueprint. In this regard, I commend the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and also record my appreciation to MATRADE, other Ministries, Agencies and the private sector for participating.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

11. The Blueprint with its eight strategic thrusts and 40 recommendations, draws together opportunities to strengthen Malaysia’s position in the international arena. It addresses necessary structural changes for the export sector to thrive through strengthening of trade facilitation, logistics, standards conformance, market access, sustainability, digitalisation and technology, investment and branding. These recommendations will be implemented by eight working groups comprising of specialists from public and private sectors.

12. The Blueprint reflects the Government’s clear ambitions to further develop Malaysia’s position and competitiveness in international trade. More importantly, this Blueprint is set to supplement the policies outlined in the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (RMK-12) towards meeting its targets with clear, actionable, and focused recommendations.

13. The Blueprint also complements other existing policies and masterplans, towards the central goal of an improved export framework. This is aligned with the current trade landscape and business community needs.

14. The National Trade Blueprint calls for effective deliberation and execution on the recommendations it has outlined, to enhance trade competitiveness. I believe implementation of the Blueprint, which involves collaborative efforts and strong commitment from various Ministries, Agencies and private sector within the business ecosystem, will bear success. The Blueprint will elevate the nation’s trade competitiveness and strengthen its position as a leading export country.

Dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

15. We must understand the need to continuously improve our trade strategies in line with ever-changing landscapes. The products and services that we export ought to evolve as we become a more diversified economy over time. This is what the Blueprint must achieve. It should not just be about improving trade numbers quarter by quarter, but something more meaningful.

16. Therefore, the Blueprint should act as a catalyst to identify Malaysia’s future sources of competitiveness, based on an informed understanding of the global supply and demand market with a uniform collaboration between the Government and private sector. This too, should be the Blueprint’s implementation aim. Working together towards a common goal, we can navigate challenging scenarios to achieve superior trading outcomes in the long term, with the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia.

17. While benefitting the Malaysian business community, the Blueprint will also affect the rakyat in a positive manner. Besides advocating an economic agenda that is aligned with the nation’s social landscape, the Blueprint’s key thrusts and recommendations strive towards inclusivity, fair distribution of wealth, narrowing of inequality gaps, elevating livelihood of Malaysians, as well as providing positive impacts for the nation through higher income generation.

18. With commitment from all parties in the value chain, I am confident that Malaysia will achieve new heights of economic expansion driven by strong export growth that is supported by a robust business ecosystem.

And now dearest Keluarga Malaysia,

Dengan lafaz Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I hereby launch the National Trade Blueprint.

Thank you.

Wabillahi taufiq wal hidayah
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

#KeluargaMalaysia #BekerjaBersamaRakyat

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