Malaysia launches DFTZ and rides e-commerce boom

According to Najib, Malaysia’s air cargo volume will reach 1.3m tonnes a year in the next 10 years

By D KANYAKUMARI / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

The establishment of the KLIA Aeropolis Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) park is expected to double the country’s air cargo volume to 1.3 million tonnes within 10 years.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak said the DFTZ will become the first eFulfilment hub outside of China and the park would allow local companies to reach the global market.

“Malaysia will be a regional hub that will be part of the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), which will be connected to the upcoming regional hubs in other continents,” he said at the launch of the eFulfilment hub at the DFTZ park in Sepang last Friday.

Also present was Alibaba Group Holding Ltd founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.

Najib said that presently, Malaysia’s air cargo volume was 700,000 tonnes a year and would reach 1.3 million tonnes a year in the next 10 years.

“The KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ park will optimise border clearance and handling from six hours to three hours with 90% service level agreement and improve cargo terminal operations from four hours to 90 minutes,” said Najib, who is also the finance minister.

Alibaba launched the eWTP in March this year. The eWTP aims to reduce barriers and make it easier for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand their trading capabilities worldwide.

Najib also said the DFTZ would increase SME goods export to US$38 billion (RM161.12 billion) and create over 60,000 jobs, in addition to supporting the movement of US$65 billion of goods by 2025.

“We want it (DFTZ) to be one of the iconic projects because digital Malaysia has a growth rate of 18.2% so far and would grow to 20% by 2020.

“It’s a sector that will have double-digit growth and I can say that DFTZ will redefine the global trade between China and Malaysia,” he said.

Najib said in line with the efforts of developing the digital economy in Malaysia, Ma would dedicate one week to Malaysia every year, where he will be promoting Malaysian products and culture in China.

Meanwhile, Ma said that he was surprised and astonished at what Malaysia has achieved since the DFTZ idea was mooted a year ago.

“The government took away all barriers to make this happen and they did all these things today what took China years to do.

“Although many countries have SMEs, Malaysia is the first one to do this for their people and I promise I will do my best to make it the best and continue to develop it,” he said.

The idea of DFTZ was first mooted in Malaysia on Nov 4, 2016, when he first visited Malaysia.

Malaysian Digital Economy Corp had reported that DFTZ will be a boost to Malaysia’s e-commerce roadmap that was introduced in 2016.

The nation’s e-commerce growth is expected to reach RM211 billion by 2020.