E-commerce to further boost Malaysia’s digital economy

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE e-commerce sector is expected to further boost Malaysia’s digital economy to entice global investors and generate higher revenue.

Through the National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap, the government has formed a framework that would help entrepreneurs adopt digitalisation of the retail ecosystem, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia secretary general Datuk Suriani Ahmad said.

“As for the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap, it is critical that Malaysian businesses and entrepreneurs are ready to become a part of this progressive and transformative web-based retail ecosystem.

“With the proper next-generation infrastructure, advanced solution providers and innovative digital services now in place, Malaysia’s e-commerce sector is currently experiencing accelerated growth. However, we cannot stop here,” she said at the e-Commerce Day 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The digital economy contributed 18.5% to Malaysia’s economy last year, accounting for RM267.7 billion of total national revenue, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

As for e-commerce, the sector contributed about 8% or RM115.5 billion in 2018 and recorded RM447.8 billion in transaction revenue in 2017, compared to the RM398.2 billion generated in 2015.

However, small and medium entrepreneurs are still in the dark on the initiatives provided to assist them to adopt digital technology, which could hinder their financial development.

“While various initiatives from government agencies, associations and private sector players were developed over the years to engage and update these businesses, most businesses are still in the dark about these initiatives,” Suriani said.

The e-commerce portion should also be a centre of focus as it has proven its potential in developing the digital economy.

“E-commerce will be the fastest component to grow. It has been a catalyst in driving the development along the entire supply value chain from product development to marketing and distribution,” Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) CEO Surina Shukri added.

She called on entrepreneurs to be ready to look beyond Malaysia, as the world approaches a new decade.

“E-commerce gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to target regions beyond our country and provide the opportunity to upgrade their entire quality proposition and understand what the customers are looking for,” she said.

Separately, MDEC launched the DESA project, an initiative to connect rural areas with the rapid expansion of e-commerce.

The project is expected to market products from rural areas from around the Bentong district in Pahang on several established e-commerce platforms, including Lazada.