An interview with YBhg. Datin Rusiah Mohamed, Director of Construction & Business Services Section of MATRADE
After the success of the International Sourcing Programme (INSP)@ARCHIDEX 2019, MATRADE together with C.I.S continues to create new benchmarks with the recently launched ARCHIDEX Online as a complementing feature to ARCHIDEX 2020.
Over RM35 million was made during INSP at ARCHIDEX 2019. In this current situation, what is your prediction on the outcome this year?
Last year, we targeted RM20 million but managed to secure RM35 million in 60 meetings. This year, as there are no physical B2B meetings, this ARCHIDEX Online is envisaged to be an effective platform for our local suppliers to be connected to potential buyers in the “new normal” of doing business.
Are digital platforms still relevant to your business?
Yes, of course as I see them as a cost-effective platform for exporters to reach buyers. Potential buyers and suppliers do not have to deal with the uncertainties of physical meetings and importantly all is done at their own convenience. Thus, Digital Platforms are the way forward.
What is your take on the inclusion of digital platforms such as ARCHIDEX Online into the Market Development Grant (MDG)?
In order to overcome challenges faced due to COVID-19 including travel restrictions, business owners need to leverage on digital platforms to continue their businesses. Recognising this, MATRADE continues to work with ARCHIDEX to link Malaysian sellers and foreign buyers through ARCHIDEX Online. While facilitating our exporters to integrate into this new normal, MATRADE recently announced our new initiative for Market Development Grant to also include virtual trade exhibitions and virtual trade missions where business-to-business (B2B) meetings are an integral part of these virtual events as one of their new claimable activities.
Are physical exhibitions still relevant in the Digitally Intense Business World we are in today?
There are advantages to this hybrid exhibition model, among which is the continuity of engagements between potential buyers and exporters. Both just can’t get the same experience online, so yes, I trust that trade shows are still relevant where possible.
What is MATRADE’s opinion on ARCHIDEX Online and ARCHIDEX in the future?
After experiencing this kind of unprecedented events, companies have to reform themselves, and digitalisation is one of the main key elements they have to embrace – whether they like it or not. They also need to adapt and look into new ways to do things.
Leveraging on digital platform is the new normal for businesses to stay visible in export markets.
Datin Rusiah Mohamed, Director of Construction & Business Services Section at MATRADE