Malaysia to be Asean logistics hub (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government plans to turn the country into a logistics hub for the Asean region by providing seamless connectivity, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the government had been working hard on improving connectivity to ports by having a double tracking train system as well as building the East Coast Railway.

He added that the government is also committed to building new ports in Port Klang, Pahang and Malacca as well as expanding the present ports in Sabah, Sarawak and Johor.

"E-commerce will be a big contributor to the country's economic growth and the setting up of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) near KLIA is the first step," he told reporters after opening the World Logistics Conference here yesterday.

He added that over 1,500 delegates and 77 countries were taking part in the conference and the exhibition at the conference is one of the biggest.

Liow said the government welcomed international and local logistics players to set up shop at the Digital Free Trade Zone as it will provide them with an efficient cargo clearance facility.

He said as part of the DTFZ development there will also be a 500,000sq-ft satellite services hub in Bandar Malaysia and a virtual zone, which is the E-Services platform.

He pointed out that a 20% increase in ICT investment will result in 1% GDP growth but for Malaysia the figure is even higher at 1.4%.

The minister said the recently launched KLIA Aeropolis has 20 of the world's top 25 freight forwarders operating out of it and it will be the gateway to Asean with over 1,250 flights weekly within the region.

He said the government is committed to supporting the logistics sector through the National Logistics Task Force.