Efforts underway to identify opportunities for sustainable trade in Malaysia

18 August 2023
ITC News

18 August 2023 (Kuala Lumpur): As the world transitions further into a green economy, climate resilience is becoming a key determinant of enterprise competitiveness.

It is increasingly important for Malaysian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to understand, adapt to and leverage opportunities in green trade both domestically and internationally.

Over 70 entrepreneurs, industry representatives, academics and public sector officials attended a two-day session on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the European Union’s Deforestation-free products Regulation (EUDR). There were also follow-up focus group discussions held in Kuala Lumpur throughout this week. 

The session was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) under the scope of the ARISE Plus Malaysia, a project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by ITC.

This workshop aimed at enhancing the understanding of public and private sector stakeholders on the European Union’s Green Deal.

The Green Deal is a climate policy package that supports the EU’s ambition to become the first climate-neutral continent. The CBAM and EUDR are tools contributing to this objective. Mr. Pekka Penttila, Trade Attaché at the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia, drew on the importance of the EU Green Deal in his opening remarks during the workshop: “The EU Green Deal serves as the EU’s call for action in the face of climate change and environmental degradation. It represents the EU’s commitment to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral continent by 2050”.

The session was followed by focused group discussion conducted over two days on the opportunities and challenges arising from the EU’s green initiatives. Dialogue between public and private stakeholders is key to ensure that trade and environment considerations are effectively built into the national policy and regulatory space to enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs. The discussions on CBAM and EUDR was facilitated by experts from the International Trade Centre.

The session was inaugurated by Madam Nor Hasnah Badroddin, Senior Director from the Bilateral Economic and Trade Relations Division, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry: “I wish to applaud the EU for taking a leading role in advancing the climate change agenda through various initiatives related to sustainability and green economy. Malaysia is of the view that any attempt to address the climate change and traceability of supply chain should be done in collaboratively. This among others involves exploring the potential of introducing mutual recognition arrangements between trading partners on the ongoing sustainable trade certifications issued at the national level. This would make a huge step towards minimizing trade impediments between borders”.


About ARISE Plus Malaysia: The project aims to support inclusive and sustainable trade growth in Malaysia, while contributing to economic integration in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. It supports the 12th Malaysia Plan and contributes to the objectives of the "EU strategy on connecting Europe and Asia".

The three-year project, which started on 1 February 2021, is funded by the European Union (EU). The project is implemented jointly with the Government of Malaysia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI). 

It is part of the broader “ARISE Plus” regional programme, supporting greater connectivity and economic integration in ASEAN, through regional thematic projects and national ARISE Plus projects. 

For more info on ARISE plus https://ariseplus.asean.org/ 


About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. 

For more information, visit www.intracen.org


About the European Union (EU) - The EU is a unique economic and political union between 27 European countries, with a population of 447 million inhabitants. It plays an important role in international affairs through diplomacy, trade, development assistance and working with global organizations. As one of the world’s largest economies and trading blocks, the EU is the top trading partner for many countries and is committed to ensuring that its partners can take full advantage of global trade opportunities. The EU has been leading in integrating sustainable development objectives into trade policy and making trade an effective tool to promote sustainable development worldwide. 

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For more information please contact: 
Mr. Waqas Rafique
Public Information Officer  
Division of Country Programmes
International Trade Centre 
wrafique [at] intracen.org (wrafique[at]intracen[dot]org) 


Ms. Marisa Aisha Mohamed Razeek
National Project Coordinator 
ARISE Plus Malaysia 
International Trade Centre 
Mrazeek [at] intracen.org (mrazeek[at]intracen[dot]org)