DFTZ another symbol of Malaysia's success: Salleh

KUALA LUMPUR: The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) is another symbol of success of the government to leverage the growth of the Internet economy by making e-commerce a priority, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

He said the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, Malaysian manufacturers wanting to export, global brand owners keen to set up regional hubs, and local and global service providers would benefit greatly from the DFTZ.

"Yesterday, I could feel that the DFTZ is a new symbol of Malaysia's success. MAHB managing director Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali said, when fully operational, the zone is expected to receive an additional investment of RM700 million.

"Not only that, a great deal of movements of goods will take place from 150,000 tonnes now to more than 3.5 million tonnes by 2020. In addition, the zone is expected to attract RM7 billion in foreign and domestic investments," he said in a posting on his blog at http://sskeruak.blogspot.my today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Alibaba Group Founder/Executive Chairman Jack Ma, yesterday launched the Malaysia DFTZ with the participation of ready-to-export SMEs.

The first DFTZ in the world is an important component in spurring the Malaysian digital economy, facilitating SMEs in taking advantage of the focused growth of Internet economic exponents and cross-border trade.

For consumers, he said the free trade zone would boost buying options and provide faster delivery of goods.

Salleh said DFTZ had many benefits including turning the KL International Airport (KLIA) into an air cargo and logistics centre involving international and local companies such as Alibaba Group, Lazada and POS Malaysia.

In addition, he said DFTZ would also boost digital and online services to facilitate innovation based on international Internet and e-trade, helping small entrepreneurs expand the marketing of their products abroad and reducing trade restrictions to facilitate the involvement of SMEs in global trade.

Economically, DFTZ could boost the Internet contribution to the Malaysian gross domestic product (GDP), besides helping local small and medium companies market their products to the global level easily, he said.

The free trade zone could also boost the export of SMEs to USS$38 billion and create 60,000 new jobs by 2050, and double Malaysia's air cargo growth from 700,000 a year currently to 1.3 million tonnes a year in the next 10 years.

"In the 2017 Budget, many did not understand when the prime minister mentioned about the DFTZ. But, when the prime minister launched the DFTZ yesterday, which was also attended by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, many started to see the direction of the internet economy which the prime minister meant," he said.

Commenting on the launching of the DFTZ, he said, Jack Ma regarded the DFTZ as proof that the Malaysian government is a very efficient government.

"Truly, by 2020, Malaysia would have developed into an advanced and successful nation," said Salleh. — Bernama