Government to further boost e-commerce contribution

by FARA AISYAH and pic by BLOOMBERG

The International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the e-commerce contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to hit 9% to 10% by 2020, boosted by the recently introduced Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and Go eCommerce initiatives

“In 2015, its share of the nation’s GDP was around 5.4%, and if we continue the business as usual, it might just reach 6.4% by 2020,” Mustapa said during the National eCommerce Forum organised by MITI yesterday.

The forum highlights the government’s efforts to reach out to e-commerce players. It particularly emphasises the importance of embracing digitalisation for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in order to sustain their businesses and expand across countries.

Mustapa said that SME’s development would remain the key focus area under the government’s digital transformation agenda.

In addition to that, Mustapa explained that the DFTZ does not only expect to double the growth rate of SME’s goods export by 2025, but to create 6,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The trade zone aims to support US$65 billion (RM278.49 billion) worth of goods moving through it by 2025, where exports bring RM107.11 billion, imports (RM64.27 billion) and transshipment (RM107.11 billion).

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp CEO Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said DFTZ’s main objective is to assist local SMEs in exports.

“SMEs must first establish their presence in the digital world via social media before venturing into e-commerce. The ultimate goal is to export the products across borders, and Go eCommerce will assist these SMEs in taking transitional steps,” Yasmin said.

Go eCommerce that was launched yesterday is an online platform, a one-stop business resource centre to guide SMEs in e-commerce adoption.

On the day of event itself, over 1,100 interested SMEs have registered with the portal, reflective of local SMEs readiness to do exports.

Meanwhile, SME Corp Malaysia CEO Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim said the result of the company’s third-quarter of 2016 (3Q16) survey shows that 25.7% of the SMEs are already selling their products online.

“In the 1Q17 survey, the number has increased to 27.2%, with 15.7% of them are already exporting their products,” she said. Hafsah hopes to see some growth in its 3Q survey of this year.

The National eCommerce Forum was attended by more than 1,000 participants with 50 exhibitors from SMEs and various e-commerce segments, including e-marketplaces, payment solutions, logistic providers, solution providers, chamber of commerce and associations.