Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali says the investments would come from the airport operator with joint-venture (JV) companies as well as direct investments from China and would drive Malaysia's digital economic growth. NST file picture.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) is expected to receive RM800 million investments on infrastructure development, facilities, systems and equipment over the next three years.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the investments would come from the airport operator with joint-venture (JV) companies as well as direct investments from China and would drive Malaysia's digital economic growth.

Badlisham said the DFTZ pioneer project based at KLIA Air-Cargo Terminal 1 (KACT1) at KLIA Aeropolis Development and Logistics Cluster is also expected to generate RM1.6 billion to gross domestic product (GDP) and create 6,000 jobs over the next three to four years.

“DFTZ is expected to receive RM800 million investment to further boost the development of the country's digital economy zone on 36.4 hectares of land, which will be fully completed by 2020,” he said during the DFTZ latest media briefing in Sepang, yesterday.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed attended the briefing session and visited the DFTZ project site to review the development of the country's digital economic zone.

Also present were Malaysia Digital Economic Corp (MDEC) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood and the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri J. Jayasiri.

Badlisham said MAHB and Alibaba Group through its logistics unit, Cainiao Network will develop KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park, that sits on a 24.9-hectare within the DFTZ development area.

The project is being developed and will be handed over to a JV company for facility development, which will be the first Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) outside China.

“The facility will include 1.2 million sq ft of gross floor area (GFA) for cargo terminals, construction centres, warehouses and operating offices. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020,” he said.

Another 12.1 hectares development will be built for other e-commerce players to expand their business through DFTZ.

“MAHB will also develop one million sq ft of GFA for cargo convenience in the next three years. To this end, we are looking at potential partners to develop high-grade warehouses and distribution centres through built and lease concepts to meet other requirements including halal logistics.

“Other infrastructure developments include commercial free zone corridors, which will be developed to meet business growth, while the cargo station will support interconnection with the seaport, as well as this facility will also be used for data analytics to improve operational efficiency,” he added.

Earlier, Mustapa said a total of 2,651 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had joined DFTZ so far and it was on track to reach the target of 10,000 SMEs by year-end.

“Since DFTZ was launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Jack Ma six month ago, we see the growth is quite encouraging as it triggers to drive SMEs towards e-commerce.

“We also hope that Bumiputera e-commerce companies will also benefit from the RM50 million allocation in DFTZ's e-Commerce WIRA initiative for the next three years as announced by Najib recently,” he said.

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