Rail prospects for Malaysian companies in German market, says Matrade chief

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) aims to champion Malaysian expertise in the rail industry by encouraging local companies to explore potential in the German market. 

The German railway sector presents promising prospects for Malaysian firms in the areas of power supply, signalling technology, rolling stock, track technology, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services, and remanufacturing.

Malaysia's trade with Germany reached RM47.8 million in 2023, a significant 25 per cent rise from the year before.

To showcase Malaysia's vibrant rail industry and its latest innovations, Matrade is spearheading InnoTrans 2024, a premier trade fair for transport technology.

Scheduled from September 24 to 27 in Berlin, Germany, InnoTrans 2024 serves as a pivotal platform for industry leaders, innovators, and stakeholders to delve into the latest trends and advancements in rail transport.

Abu Bakar Yusof, deputy chief executive officer (export acceleration) at Matrade, emphasised the agency's commitment to driving technological progress and sustainability in the global rail sector.

"Matrade is poised to demonstrate our commitment to driving technological advancements and sustainable solutions in the global rail sector by sending a strong delegation that includes key players in the industry, government agencies, and trade associations.

"One of the distinguishing features of Malaysia's rail industry is its emphasis on sustainability. Embracing green technologies and implementing eco-friendly practices highlights Malaysia's commitment as the nation is poised to become among the regional and global leaders in railway infrastructure development. 

"These efforts align with Matrade's initiative in facilitating Malaysian exporters to embrace and adopt sustainability and eventually contribute to global efforts to combat climate change," he said in a statement.

Malaysia experienced a significant uptick in international rail commerce in 2023, with a double-digit gain of 14.3 percent to RM1.3 billion. 

Matrade is in a good position to take advantage of this upward trajectory by increasing rail product and service exports, leveraging the post-pandemic worldwide interest in rail transportation that has returned.

In the same time frame, Malaysian rail exports comprising cargo containers, rolling stock, railroad parts, and signaling devices are examples of notable export goods to other countries that totaled RM547.2 million, with the top five destinations being the US, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Taiwan. 

Matrade's trade commissioner in Frankfurt, Mohamad Termizi Piee, underlined Malaysia's dedication to achieving its challenging 2030 railway system goals. 

These goals, which represent Malaysia's proactive approach to developing a resilient and forward-thinking rail business, include modernising infrastructure, improving services, and promoting sustainability.

He noted that the significant expenditures made recently in both equipment and infrastructure were credited with this growth.

"Market growth prospects are significant, fuelled by a growing demand for rail services due to a push for eco-friendly transport, infrastructure improvements, and new technologies, with the global rail transport market expected to reach RM3.1 trillion by 2030," he added.

Matrade invites Malaysian companies and related organisations in rail industry to join Malaysian Pavilion at InnoTrans 2024 where Matrade will host B2B meetings and memorandum of understanding signings, showcasing Malaysia as a reliable international partner in rail engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning.

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