4/2/2014 marks the day I start my internship training at MATRADE. Just a few days after Chinese New Year, I anxious to start interning at MATRADE. *whimpers*
Well, I think i have to introduce what MATRADE is to those who don't know. *drumrolls*
MATRADE is actually the acronym for Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation where it is actually the National Trade Promotion Agency of Malaysia.
"Positioning Malaysia As A Globally Competitive Trading Nation"
Objectives"Promoting Malaysia's Enterprises To The World"
- To raise the profile of Malaysian exporters in foreign markets;
- To disseminate timely and relevant information and market intelligence to help Malaysian companies gain a competitive edge in foreign markets;
- To introduce Malaysian companies to foreign importers seeking Malaysian suppliers; and
- To undertake activities to promote the export of Malaysian goods and services in overseas market
Weird isn't it for me to be interning at MATRADE. Well, at first it felt weird to me as well as all the otehr interns were either majoring in Economics, International Business, Marketing, Management, Public Relations.. and here I was an Applied Science student majoring in Product Development Technology interning at a trade agency. Well, my perception changed after the first day here. Thank God I was placed at a unit that had relationship with my course which is Food Unit. My supervisor Mr Faizal was a really nice supervisor. He really guided me and was really patient with me.
Knowing I had knowledge in product development, he asked me to update the Industrial Brief for 2012/2013. I realised that I was able to really give in my inputs from what I have learnt over the 3 1/2 years at UMK. I had loads of ideas about the food trends and the future development of the Malaysian Food Processing Industry. Especially about the prospect of the flavour industry which was my thesis title. From all my coursemates thesis titles like antioxidants and other properties I was able to somewhat predict the trends of the industry for 2014.
I also realized how important the role of MATRADE is. They plan exhibitions locally and abroad like SIAL, MIHAS, INTRADE which really helps to promote our local products! There is also a Trade Museum at MATRADE where the local companies exhibit their products. I never realized how much Malaysia is contributing in terms of products in the food sector, cosmetic. materials and so on.
Did you know that Malaysia is the No. 1 timber flooring producer? Or that the foundation of highest building in Dubai is Malaysia made? All the staffs at MATRADE really work hard in entertaining the producers and manufacturers, giving them advice on how to improve their products, the regulations of each country that they want to export their products. I really thank Dr. Amir and Dr. Seri Intan for that intensive course of rules and regulations of Malaysia food industry. I can really see how important certification like HALAL, GMP, HACCP and others really influence the success of the company to export their products.
I never did so much research in updating the industrial brief for all processed food and agricultural products! It's like writing another thesis! By updating the IB I was able to learn so much more about our Malaysian products and the opportunities that lies in Malaysia especially on flavouring, fruits, spices where there are s o many sub-sectors that Malaysia is the net exporter!
Second week at MATRADE, I'm starting to fit into the crowd here. They are really professional and no different from the private sector. Their work attitude is really great especially since they need to face foreign investors and they are really the heart of promoting Malaysian products and drawing investors. Nearly every other day there are meetings and conferences that everyone is running up and down. I really thank the officers here for treating us interns as one of their own and really making us fit in.
My office-mate Helly is really great as well :) It's fun being office-mates with her! The other 35 interns are friendly as well :)
Will update more on my internship at MATRADE.
Till then adios~