Govt agencies to cooperate for seamless DFTZ operations

By FARA AISYAH

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and Port Klang Authority has been told to collaborate by the Transport Ministry to ensure seamless operations between the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), Westports and Northport.

In a statement yesterday, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said a working group will be set up as soon as possible for this cooperation to materialise.

“We have to work this out fast as more and more countries are competing in e-commerce. We must work as a team to realise the goal of DFTZ, to be the regional logistics hub catering for e-commerce business,” Liow said.

According to Liow, there has been an overwhelming response from foreign and local logistics service providers to participate in the DFTZ at

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Aeropolis. Therefore, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd will look into expanding the Logistics Park to accommodate these logistics players.

On MDEC’s part, it is developing and implementing a Malaysian platform that can ride on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to market our products to China and the world.

Malaysia is poised to serve as the regional e-fulfilment hub following the launch of DFTZ by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak and Alibaba founder Jack Ma in March.

It is expected to create 60,000 jobs for the country.

When DFTZ is fully developed by 2025, it is anticipated to handle up to US$65 billion (RM278.82 billion) worth of goods within Asean.

It will facilitate cross-border movement of goods and ensure seamless air connectivity.

The DFTZ targets to deliver packages within 72 hours to Asean countries through seamless air connectivity at KLIA and sea connectivity via Port Klang.

As the Westports and Northport have to bring in transshipment containers and re-exports businesses, new regulations — to be introduced or proposed amendments on existing ones — must be port-friendly.

As it is, Malaysian ports are facing intense competition from its Asean counterparts.

The minister acknowledged that there is a lack of consistency in the export and import licensing, as well as permit and approval processes.

Multinational corporations have identified the different processes and systems as the key barriers and chokepoints in the logistics supply chain that hampers productivity.

Hence, Liow urged relevant government agencies to continuously review prohibitive regulations to promote a business-friendly regulatory environment and also leverage on new technologies and innovations.

“There is an urgent need to restructure non-tariff measures including customs regulations to ensure streamlined processes and regulations for export and import permits.

“Regulations that are obsolete or no longer relevant should be reviewed,” Liow said after chairing the Second National Logistics Task Force Meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.

He emphasised that new regulations should comply with the Good Regulatory Practices (GRP). Under the GRP, the agencies must engage with industries to seek their feedbacks before introducing new regulations or making amendments to existing ones.

According to Liow, the issue on the requirement of approved permits for trans-shipment of 74 items could have been avoided if this practice had been adhered to.

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