Bernama has recently reported that the Malaysian Export Academy (formerly known as The Exporters' Club) hopes to alleviate the shortage of export expertise in the country by training the people, especially fresh graduates.

According to Prof Dr Abdul Kabur Ibrahim, CEO of The Malaysian Export Academy, the academy was set up to provide trade- and export-related subjects.

In fact, a survey conducted by the academy on 100 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had showed that none of them has a dedicated export department even for companies which were actually exporting.

On that note, Dr Kabur said: "We have companies where the CEOs are working in the exporting side of the business or one person in the company who handles export-related matters and this is because they cannot find people with the right expertise.”

Since export education and training were not taught in universities and colleges, Dr Kabur said that entrepreneurs needed to be given hands-on training to prepare them to meet the challenges and competitions of the global market.

He said: "Malaysia is one of the most trade-dependent countries in the world and this is the area we should give priority to. Furthermore, one of the components in the SME Masterplan 2012-2020 is to go for exports.”

"The Going Export Programme is one of the six high-impact programmes in the masterplan," he added.

He said there were three different segments that the academy was focusing on in terms of its offerings. They are short courses for the working adults, certificate programmes in collaboration with local and international partners and coaching for SMEs. The report stated that these short courses include trade financing, customs procedures, free trade zones and export marketing skills.

Additionally, Dr Kabur said the academy offered professional programmes on export management, international trade and financing as well as freight forwarding in collaborations with local and international partners such as Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Institute of Export UK, Chartered Management Institute of UK, University of York and University of Switzerland, among others.

"We also have a project with Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit - BEST Exporters programme. We provide coaching to 100 Bumiputera SMEs on export in which we deploy our trade advisers to the companies and factories to show them the way to handle export matters," he said.

Looking ahead, Abdul Kabur said the academy planned to set up an export simulation centre for trainees to have a hands-on experience in handling export-related matters.

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