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Alibaba: SMEs, youths must embrace Industry 4.0

 | November 24, 2017

Alibaba Group Limited vice-president Brian Wong says with the presence of the Digital Free Trade Zone, the doors for young entrepreneur and SMEs are wide open.

Alibaba Group Limited vice-president Brian Wong

Alibaba Group Limited vice-president Brian Wong

KUALA LUMPUR: With the emerging e-commerce economy and the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), the younger generation and small medium enterprises (SMEs) must be open to embracing the new era.

Alibaba Group Limited vice-president Brian Wong said 24.5 million Malaysians, or 79% of the country’s population, were connected to the Internet, and with the fast growing technology, the term finding the right job was no longer suitable.

“In this era, it is not about finding the correct jobs, but to create new jobs for others,” he said in his speech after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) here today.

The MoU between Alibaba and UUM will benefit students in all public universities in e-commerce, big data, cloud service and global trade, with UUM facilitating it.

Wong said with the presence of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in the country, the doors for young entrepreneurs and SMEs were wide open.

“Malaysia has put itself on the global map to have the first DFTZ outside China, but unfortunately, 72% of SMEs do not have a website.

“It is time for them to realise that this is the era of the Internet and trade can be held much easier, without borders,” he said.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, together with Alibaba Group executive chairman and founder Jack Ma, brought the DFTZ at the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park to life on Nov 3 by flagging off 1,972 export-ready SMEs onboard.

Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister Idris Jusoh said the higher education ministry was open to collaboration with Alibaba in accelerating its Two University Two Industry (2u2i) initiative in the future.

“Anything can happen. Nothing is impossible. We have seen the flexibility in higher education, and we will continue to change and keep soaring upwards,” he said.

The 2u2i is the ministry’s initiative to equip graduates with industrial experience before completing their studies. To date, more than 10 local universities had opted for some of its courses.

Earlier, the ministry conducted two town hall sessions to discuss how it would redesign education to be in line with Industrial 4.0, drawing more than 300 people, including students and university vice-chancellors.


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