(From left to right) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade & Industry (MITI), Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MDEC, Datuk (Dr) Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corporation Malaysia and Puan Wan Suraya, Deputy Secretary General (Strategy & Monitoring) at MITI during a press conference

KUALA LUMPUR: The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) is targeting to increase the number of companies coming onboard the Digital Free-Trade Zone (DFTZ) e-commerce platform to about 10,000 by year-end from 1,998 last November.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said since the DTFZ pilot project was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last year, there had been growing interest among local and international e-Commerce players.

“We will work towards ensuring the sustainability of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are already DFTZ-listed, and assist more SMEs to list on the platform to ensure that they are future-ready and equipped to venture into cross-border eCommerce,” he told a press conference after delivering his welcoming remarks at the Malaysia Digital Economy Forum here today.

Mustapa said the last two years had been exciting for e-commerce whereby Malaysians were beginning to embrace digital economy in a big way.

He said the latest numbers from the Department of Statistics Malaysia also indicated that the digital economy accounted for 18.2 per cent of the country’s economy in 2016, while the share of e-commerce in the national gross domestic product increased to 6.1 per cent from 5.9 per cent in 2015.

Mustapa said nine out of 10 business establishments in Malaysia were SMEs, 28 per cent per cent had online presence and 15 per cent already used that presence for export purposes.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said it planned to expand the DFTZ this year beyond just the Alibaba platform and it was looking at Lazada, 11Street and Aladdin Street to focus on exporting into Southeast Asian markets.

She said the DFTZ initiative was a game changer for our digital economy that would focus on providing a state-of-the-art platform for the convenience of SMEs to conduct their businesses and services.

”This year, we will take this vision further by focusing on DFTZ’s expansion to include trade by sea, changing the global trade market whereby the first phase of this expansion will include locations within Malaysia, such as Port Klang and Bukit Kayu Hitam,” she added.

– BERNAMA

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