National eCommerce Forum sees further drive on digital economy

International Trade and Industry Minister Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed (centre) with (from left to right) SME Corp CEO Dato Hafsah Hashim, MDEC CEO Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, Deputy Minister of Transport Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi and MATRADE CEO Ir Dr Mohd Shahreen Zainooreen B. Madros. (Photos credit: Razaleigh Zainal)

The National eCommerce Forum organised today by MITI marks another important milestone in the Government’s efforts towards driving the national digital economy agenda. The theme of “Embracing Digital Transformation” projects the Government’s efforts to reach out to the eCommerce players along the value chain, particularly SMEs, on the importance of embracing digitalisation for their businesses to sustain themselves amid the challenging economic environment.  

The Forum was organised jointly by the members of the National eCommerce Council (NeCC) which includes 25 Ministries and Agencies. Since its inception in December 2015, the NeCC has initiated various activities and events to spearhead the development of the eCommerce sector in Malaysia with the aim of doubling eCommerce growth from 11% to 20% by 2020.  

With the recent launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) by YAB Prime Minister together with Jack Ma on 22 March 2017, there has been growing interest among local and international eCommerce players including SMEs on the potential opportunities and challenges to be faced once DFTZ starts to be implemented beginning October 2017.  

The DFTZ is a joint undertaking between Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and China’s Alibaba Group. It aims to provide a strong boost to Malaysia’s eCommerce roadmap that was introduced in 2016, which is targeted at doubling the nation’s eCommerce growth and increase the GDP contribution to RM211 billion. 

eCommerce players strongly represented 

Key events held throughout the Forum included: Launch of the ‘Go eCommerce’ online platform, a dedicated one-stop business resource online centre to guide SMEs in eCommerce adoption. To date, more than 1,000 interested SMEs have already pre-registered with the programme. Apart from providing the SMEs profile of their readiness, the platform also equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to transform their current businesses to potential eCommerce exports.  

The platform currently houses over 70 online courses and is expected to grow to at least 200 courses by end of 2017. To know more about the platform, please visit and register at; and Presentation of the eTRADE Accelerator Award, newly initiated by MATRADE in collaboration with MDEC to recognise the top three successful local SMEs under the eTRADE programme who have generated the highest export sales during the four (4) month campaign period from September 2016 up to December 2016.  

The Forum also featured presentations and panel discussions by prominent eCommerce players such as JinBaomen, ASIAN-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation (ASOCIO), LAZADA Express and POS Malaysia on how local SMEs can venture into cross-border eCommerce specifically into China and the ASEAN market. Participants were also exposed with services provided by the eCommerce players along the value chain, based on areas of specialisation such as eFulfilment.  

The Forum was attended by more than 1,000 participants with 50 exhibitors from various eCommerce segments, including eMarketplaces (such as Lazada and AgroBazaar Online); payment solutions (such as MOLPAY and IPay88); logistic providers (such as Pos Malaysia, GDEX and SkyNet); solution providers (such as Webshaper and Sitegiant); Chambers of Commerce and associations; and online sellers including SMEs. 

Highlights on Digital Transformation

Media personnel crowd around Tok Pa and Kak Yasmin
Media personnel crowd around Tok Pa and Kak Yasmin

According to the International Trade and Industry Minister, YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed who is also the Chair of the NeCC, the Forum highlights the Government’s efforts to promote digital transformation.  

“eCommerce is growing rapidly in Malaysia as more people are getting connected to the Internet and it has become extremely important in Malaysia’s digital economy agenda. SME development will remain as the key focus area under the Government’s digital transformation agenda.  

The DFTZ initiative will focus on providing state-of-the-art platform for SMEs and enterprises to conduct their businesses and services. This will hopefully help to allay any concerns or scepticism that the DFTZ will only benefit foreign players and encourage more imported products coming in. Instead, the DFTZ will actually focus on helping our SMEs to penetrate the export market and improve our cross-border efficiency”, he said.  

“The vision is to nurture an ecosystem for Malaysia to be a ‘best of class’ logistics hub that will serve the ASEAN market for all global brands, as well as all for global market places,” said Dato Yasmin Mahmood, CEO, MDEC.