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SMEs as a key focus in Malaysia

IN MALAYSIA, SMEs constitute the backbone of the economy, making up a significant portion while contributing to job creation, economic growth and innovation.

Amid an uncertain business landscape, it is crucial for SMEs in Malaysia to take a proactive approach towards expanding their operations through cross-border trade, which in turn leads to additional revenue channels. Cross-border trade also offers a plethora of opportunities for SMEs, including reaching untapped customer base and capitalising on economies of scale. These opportunities serve as essential safeguards against the challenges posed by the current economic conditions.

In Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Budget 2024 speech, he highlighted the government's unwavering commitment to this critical sector, including the adoption of digital technology.

In line with this, FedEx recognises the pivotal role of SMEs within the country's economic landscape and is dedicated to facilitating their journey towards growth and enduring success. This becomes even more evident as SMEs embrace digital innovation and emerging trends to maintain agility and resilience, particularly within the dynamic e-commerce landscape.

Here is how FedEx empowers Malaysian SMEs with its long-standing presence, unparalleled connectivity and digital solutions that strengthen their logistics strategies.

Over the past three decades, FedEx Malaysia stands as a testament to numerous remarkable milestones. These include the strategic positioning of our network capabilities within our key facilities. Notably, FedEx established a logistics facility in Johor – a strategic gateway to Singapore – that significantly enhances connectivity for the southern Malaysian region on the global stage. Similarly, the FedEx Batu Kawan facility in Penang enhances connectivity for the northern region of Malaysia, utilising both land and air transport networks. These strategically positioned facilities play a pivotal role in ensuring efficient and timely transport, providing businesses within Malaysia with access to swift and dependable delivery services, both domestically and internationally.

Bolstered by FedEx’s active support for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the company’s global network presented promising opportunities for exponential growth among SMEs. As a long-standing advocate of free global trade, FedEx is positioned to support SMEs in globalising their businesses by leveraging the benefits of this regional collaboration.

With the Asia-Pacific region contributing a substantial 34% share of the global air cargo market, FedEx remains attuned to the evolving demands within the region, including Malaysia. This understanding enables us to optimise our global network and provide tailored solutions that enable SMEs to explore new markets, fostering increased import and export opportunities that ultimately contribute to their growth.

In recent years, FedEx Malaysia has focused on supporting SMEs as they expand their global reach. Amy Blair, who leads Batik Boutique, a Malaysian social enterprise specialising in crafting and marketing handmade batik products, exemplifies this trend. Batik Boutique's journey, marked by a robust local presence and international acclaim, is propelling the global export of their unique batik creations.

Conversely, Yusfariq Iqmal Yuslan, the founder of The Jasmine Group, who embarked on his journey in the hijab business. Notably, he pioneered Hijab Magnetic, or the PINLESS hijab, which has achieved extensive market presence in Malaysia and Indonesia, and now to various global markets, supported by FedEx international deliveries and solutions.

It is evident that SMEs can potentially reap substantial advantages from FedEx logistics solutions, such as FedEx International Connect Plus, which has the ability to strike an ideal balance between speed and affordability, in ensuring cost-effective deliveries without compromising on efficiency. In addition, FedEx International Economy caters to day-definite deliveries to over 170 global markets, making sure that customers' packages reach their destinations smoothly and without unnecessary hassles.

SMEs are presented with vast opportunities to tap into the e-commerce space, where online businesses continuously evolve to accommodate ever-shifting customer preferences, and incorporating aspects like personalisation, shoppertainment and streamlined payment methods. This evolution is facilitated by FedEx through digital solutions such as the FedEx Compatible software solutions, which enables business owners access to shipping and other services directly from the software they need. Alongside this, the FedEx Ship Manager online shipping tool offers businesses and individuals a comprehensive and efficient solution to manage their shipments online.

Since 1993, FedEx Malaysia has solidified its reputation as a reliable logistics service provider across diverse sectors, encompassing overseas trade, SMEs and e-commerce delivery. FedEx takes pride in fostering the growth of local companies, many of which have expanded into regional or international brands. As the company commemorates its 30th anniversary, FedEx unwavering commitment to bolstering Malaysian SMEs and creating more possibilities for local businesses remains firm. The company is also committed to stay ahead of the supply chain curve by focusing on best-in-class innovations that will pave the way for the future. Looking ahead, FedEx will continue to focus on these key areas in Malaysia:

By maintaining its pioneering stance in innovation and remaining agile to evolving market dynamics, FedEx is well positioned to cater to the shifting SME needs. FedEx leverages technology to improve its operations and enhance the customers’ experience. The company adopts a data-driven approach, and continuously invests in innovations and new technology that echoes broader industry trends, to operate at the intersection of physical and digital networks.

As the market continues its upwards trajectory, the company will continue its focus to establish a sustainable supply chain across all operations, which include reducing emission and waste, replacing older technologies and vehicles with more efficient ones, and revolutionising the company’s operations with newer technologies. A recent addition to the company’s suite of services is the FedEx Sustainability Insights, an innovative, global emissions reporting tool which empowers FedEx customers to gauge CO2 emissions, enabling them control over their carbon footprint. Through these endeavors, FedEx is committed to achieving global carbon neutrality in its operations by 2040.

This article is contributed by Tien-Long Woon (pic), managing director of FedEx Express Malaysia.