By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The e-commerce industry is set to achieve an annual growth rate of 20% in 2020, an increase from 14.3% growth in 2017, with the support of the country’s investment on the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said the industry contributed RM85.8 billion to the country’s GDP last year, a figure measured for a period of seven years.
“We are looking to achieve over RM100 billion contribution to the GDP in 2020 from the e-commerce industry, but this may require some time.
“We are confident to achieve the 20% growth as e-commerce and digital economy reflect new opportunities derived from the technological advances and innovation in the country,” he said at the eCommerce Day 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Ong added that the government will continue to keep track of the e-commerce growth and development through the implementation of the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap and National eCommerce Council.
He said currently, there are only 5,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have participated in the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative, an amount that is incomparable to the current state of Malaysia’s SME sector.
“The platform has only received 5,000 SMEs in the system and we want to include as many SMEs as possible, because DFTZ itself has been a successful platform over the past couple of years.
“If we can increase the number to at least half of the current SME presence in Malaysia, (then) we are on the right track to achieve the growth rate and contribution target,” he said.
On Nov 12, 2018, Malaysia has signed the Asean Agreement on Electronic Commerce, an effort taken by the 10 countries to facilitate cross-border transactions in the e-commerce industry by reducing barriers and lowering entry costs.
“We have concluded a valuable framework between Asean countries in terms of the e-commerce activities.
“The agreement is the result of a year-long deliberation by all countries for wanting to promote greater cross-border trade and reduce some of the red tape associated with the industry,” Ong said, adding that the move will improve the country’s traditional trading activity.
He added that Malaysia has to align its trade strategies and plans to other regional and international markets to gain the most possible benefits.
“There is no point if Malaysia is keeping to itself in the ecosystem as we need to be able to access to bigger markets…We want Malaysia to have exposure of a different range of products and markets that have never been in our radar,” he said.