Matrade Eyes 10-15 Pct Export Share For Kids’ Wear

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Bernama) — The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) has kickstarted exports of local children’s fashion wear, aiming to capture a 10-15 per cent share of Malaysia’s textile and apparel exports within three to five years.

Exports of children’s fashion wear currently form a very small percentage of Malaysia’s overall textile and apparel exports, but Matrade now is looking into this promising segment, said Matrade Lifestyle Section Director Abu Bakar Yusof.

“We estimate a period of three to five years for us to boost our local kids’ wear fashion.

“We need to look into the whole eco-system, and that is why we started working with other agencies like Majlis Amanah Mara (MARA) today, for us to make our designers ready for the export market,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the ‘Little Me Showcase 2016’ event here today.

The event, an initiative by Ladiva Modeling and supported by Matrade, aims to provide a platform for local entrepreneurs in the children’s wear industry to develop strategic partnerships with their peers and government agencies like Matrade and MARA to enhance their export potential.

Malaysian brands showcased at the event included GOSH Baby Shop, Muslim Flava, DNA by Dynas, Qeera Kids and Elle & Shyne.

Abu Bakar said Matrade, through its promotional and training programmes, will guide the local designers on the business strategies needed to enter the international market

He said in 2015, the textile and apparel industry was ranked 11th among Malaysia’s exports of manufactured goods, accounting for a 1.6 per cent export share.

Malaysia’s exports of textiles and apparel and clothing amounted to RM12.6 billion in 2015, up 8.7 per cent from RM11.6 billion in 2014.

Textiles, apparels and clothing fall under under Malaysia’s lifestyle sector, which also includes footwear, furniture, jewellery, cosmetics and toiletries.

Malaysia’s exports of lifestyle products reached RM31.36 billion in 2015, up 12 per cent from RM28 billion in 2014, with exports mainly to the USA, Japan, China, Singapore, Turkey, Indonesia, India and Thailand.

“With the global kids’ wear market valued currently at approximately US$157 billion or RM600 billion, we should push our local talents to venture abroad and tap the opportunities in markets like Africa, the Middle East, China and Europe.

“But it is also pivotal for the Malaysian brands to equip themselves with the marketing know-how. This is where Matrade and MARA come into the picture and can play their roles,” he added.

Meanwhile, MARA Deputy Director (Lifestyle) Adham Hatta Ab Samad said the agency now has 16 designers that it groomed under an initiative launched last year called ‘MARA in Fashion’.

“The designers, who created new brands like HWL, Nadd Hassan, Aishah Al-Mashoor, Maurisa Concept and Bidadari Contemporary, were groomed in design work and raw materials selection and were guided up to the production level.

“We will start a new batch of about 20 more designers to be groomed under the same ‘MARA in Fashion’ scheme, beginning in September,” he added.