by BERNAMA / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
THE distributive trade performance rebounded to -2.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2020 with sales value of RM330.9 billion compared to RM254.2 billion in the second quarter this year.
This was following the Buy Malaysian Products Campaign and Mega Sales Programme initiatives in July which aimed to stimulate the domestic economy, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (picture).
“COVID-19 and the introduction of the Movement Control Order by the government has had a major impact on distributive trade. For the first time ever, in the second quarter of 2020 the performance of domestic trade dropped significantly to -23.4 per cent from 2019.
“This campaign launched nationwide has produced good results with very good participation from retailers, mall owners, online market places and state governments,” he said via a Facebook Live Webinar during the Distributive Trade Colloquium 2020 opening ceremony here today.
The one-day Distributive Trade Colloquium 2020 will provide a platform for all parties to propose and challenge ideas regarding the future development of distributive trade and also provide opportunities for discussion, knowledge sharing and strategic planning on the action plan needed by the industry.
Nanta said COVID-19 had significantly impacted distributive trade in many aspects as business model and economic structures changed rapidly.
He said the trend for digitalisation had already made its way here in the past five years; yet, there was no single event that managed to drive up the process other than this pandemic, and COVID-19 had expedited these structural changes to another level.
“For example, in the second quarter of 2020 Malaysia recorded almost a 40 per cent increase in e-commerce and unlocked new opportunities for distributive trade. With this shift towards digital platforms, the industry will need to adapt in order to reap its benefits.
“The brick-and-mortar businesses that engaged in e-commerce activities have managed to fare better during these challenging times. That being said, only seven per cent of micro, small and medium enterprises have utilised e-commerce as a means for business,” he said.
Nanta said his ministry would continue its effort to ensure the growth of distributive trade in facing short-term and long-term challenges and one of the efforts to be taken by his ministry was the development of the Distributive Trade Master Plan 2021-2025.
“The Distributive Trade Master Plan will outline the challenges, strategic thrusts and action plans for distributive trade sectors for recovery and moving towards sustainable and resilient economic development. The plan will focus on medium-term measures and will complement the 12th Malaysia Plan,” he said.