Govt crafting policy for e-commerce trade with China

By FARA AISYAH

The government is formulating its policies for e-commerce trade between Malaysia and China that will facilitate innovation, said Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.

He said a clear policy direction will strengthen the e-commerce sector trade between the two countries.

“The policy direction is important for trade. Business people have very innovative ideas, but at the end of the day if the government policy doesn’t facilitate your [business], then your goods still can’t be traded.”

“We will work on it immediately and we hope to come out with a concrete direction by the first half of next year,” Ong told reporters at the Mini E-Commerce Forum in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said customs clearance and delivery duration are among the issues faced by industry players of both countries.

Ong said Malaysia’s trade with China has been going strong and the latter has so much potential for local players, particularly for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He added that Malaysia’s trade with China has achieved approximately RM24.5 billion in September.

The minister also proposes for a food trading hub to be established in China for products such as palm oil, fruits and bird’s nests.

“A lot of food items are not produced in China. Likewise, we also order some food products from there.

“Some of our local fruits have been approved by the Chinese government while some are still pending approval, so this is indeed a policy matter,” Ong added.

The minister said this can also assist SMEs in venturing to China for bigger business volumes, creating more job opportunities and becoming sustainable.

Ong said food products exports are currently valued at RM800 million this year, amounting to only 2% of the country’s economy.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry aims to double this value to around RM1.5 billion to RM2 billion next year.