KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s digital economy has seen exponential growth, with 58,824 online businesses registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia, according to International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed.
“Latest numbers from the Department of Statistics Malaysia also indicate that the digital economy accounted for 18.2% of the country’s GDP in 2016 while the share of e-commerce in the national GDP has increased to 6.1% compared with 5.9% in 2015,” he added.
Speaking at the Malaysia Digital Economy Forum yesterday, he said 28% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had online presence and 15% were using that presence for export purposes. Nine out of 10 business establishments in Malaysia are SMEs.
He added that there was growing interest among local and international e-commerce players in the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) pilot project launched last year.
“The government will work towards ensuring the sustainability of the 1,998 SMEs that are already DFTZ-listed, and assist more SMEs to list on the same, in line with the national aspiration of ensuring SMEs are future-ready and equipped to venture into cross-border e-commerce.”
The Sun quoted him as saying that the government wanted to use big data to analyse trends in the e-commerce scene to spur the country’s e-commerce activities under the DFTZ initiative.
“Today we’re having our National eCommerce Council meeting and one area is looking at data collection. With the Alibaba platform, we have 24/7 real time data. We can know who’s doing well and we can have analysis of products that will be good for Matrade (Malaysia External Trade Development Corp) and the government to know what products (are popular) and where (are the markets). If sales are low, we would know which segment we should do more promotion. It’s an important spin-off of the digital economy and the Alibaba investment in Malaysia.”
The report said more than 2,000 SMEs had registered with the Alibaba group platform under the DFTZ initiative. The government is targeting for 10,000 SMEs to be on the platform by the end of the year.
This year, DFTZ’s expansion will include trade by sea. The first phase of this expansion will include locations within Malaysia, such as Port Klang and Bukit Kayu Hitam.