Local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are urged to get onboard China’s biggest e-commerce platform, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, and take advantage of the newly launched Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) to expand their business horizon abroad.
Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said via Alibaba, local SMEs could also be part of the Singles’ Day sale and promotion that is held every Nov 11.
For example, the China-based company recorded US$25 billion (RM102.88 billion) in sales during the last Singles’ Day sale, joined by as many as 60,000 international brands and merchants.
“As such, our SMEs must quickly get onboard the Alibaba platform so that we also can participate in the Singles’ Day sale next year. I am confident that it will be another sales record,” he said after launching the Ninth Pikom Leadership Summit in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
He said that Malaysia’s e-commerce operator, Lazada, also experienced explosive growth in Malaysia and across the region, racking up RM96 million in sales via 6.5 million items ordered during the one day sales event.
On the Singles’ Day sale, Shopee has generated an increase in search interest by 71.4%, following by 11street (66.7%), Hermo (50%) and Zalora (25%).
“Based on the search interest on Nov 11, the five most popular e-commerce (platforms) in Malaysia are Lazada, Shopee, 11street, Zalora and Hermo,” Liow said.
The DFTZ that was launched early this month by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak together with Alibaba founder Jack Ma, is expected to provide 1,972 Malaysian SMEs the opportunity to sell their products online.
Liow added that the DFTZ will position Malaysia as the regional e-fulfilment hub for Asean consumers.
He said the existence of phase 1 of the DFTZ facility should be fully capitalised by local players to deliver their products to the Chinese market.
“Cainiao Network (Technology Co Ltd) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd will set up a 24ha e-fulfilment hub in phase 2 of DTFZ, slated to be operational by 2020,” he said.
The ministry has also targeted to increase air cargo volume in Kuala Lumpur International Airport up to three million tonnes by 2050, compared to the current 726,000 tonnes.
Meanwhile, at the launch, Liow also witnessed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pikom (National ICT Association of Malaysia), CyberSecurity Malaysia and Fusionex Corp Sdn Bhd to enhance information and communications technology and data security.
He said the MoU will see both parties working together to provide training in the area and encouraging the building of data skillsets within the workforce.
“It will be the push needed to create, educate and inspire a new generation of data professionals in line with the MDEC’s (Malaysia Digital Economy Corp) aim to have 20,000 data professionals by 2020,” he said.