DFTZ, NESR to boost e-commerce contribution to GDP: Mustapa

KUALA LUMPUR: Government interventions, with the recent launch of Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap (NeSR) initiatives, will boost eCommerce's contribution to Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP), said International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. 

The minister said with the two initiatives, coupled with efforts to drive the national digital economy agenda, the eCommerce contribution to GDP was expected to hit nine to 10% by 2020.

"eCommerce will contribute significantly to our digital economy. In 2015, its share of the nation's GDP was around 5.4%, and if we do nothing or business, as usual, it might just reach 6.4% by 2020," he told reporters on the sidelines of the National eCommerce Forum organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) here today.

Mustapa who is also the Chair of the National eCommerce Council said the council had initiated various activities and events to spearhead the development of eCommerce in Malaysia, aimed at almost doubling its growth from 11% currently to 20% by 2020.

The National eCommerce forum here was attended by more than 1,000 participants with 50 exhibitors from various eCommerce segments, including eMarketplaces (such as Lazada and AgroBazaar Online); payment solutions (MOLPay and IPay88); logistic providers (Pos Malaysia, Gdex and SkyNet); solution providers (Webshaper and Sitegiant); Chambers of Commerce and associations; as well as online sellers including from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Themed "Embracing Digital Transformation", the half-day forum highlights the Government's efforts to reach out to eCommerce players along the value chain, particularly the SMEs, on the importance of embracing digitalisation to sustain their businesses amid the challenging economic environment.

Mustapa in his welcoming remarks earlier said SME development would remain the key focus area under the Government's digital transformation agenda.

He said the DFTZ initiative would focus on providing state-of-the-art platform for the SMEs and enterprises to conduct their businesses and services.

"This will hopefully help to allay any concerns or scepticism that the trade zone would only benefit foreign players and encourage the entrance of more imported products.

"Instead, the DFTZ will actually focus on helping our SMEs to penetrate the export market and improve our cross-border efficiency," he said. 

At the event, the minister also launched the "Go eCommerce" online platform, a dedicated one-stop business resource online centre to guide the SMEs in eCommerce adoption.

The platform, residing at domain name www.GoeCommerce.my, currently houses over 70 online courses and this is expected to grow to at least 200 courses by end-2017. 

"As of today,  over 1,100 interested SMEs have registered with GoeCommerce, and I am sure the number will grow significantly in the next few days," said the minister, who also attended the second pitching session organised by MITI and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation at the forum for local eCommerce start-ups and scale-ups.

The session enables the start-ups and scale-ups to pitch their business ideas directly for the purpose of securing capital funding from government-linked companies, government-linked investment companies, Minister of Finance Incorporated and venture capitalists.

Commenting on the launch of Bursa Malaysia Bhd's new Leading Entrepreneur Accelerator Platform (LEAP) Market yesterday, Mustapa said it was another great initiative from the Government to provide SMEs with an alternative platform to raise capital and the hand-holding services from LEAP's advisers would ensure a pipeline of many SME listings in the country. — Bernama