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Sarawak needs DFTZ to succeed as e-commerce hub

By Harun Jau KUCHING: Sarawak needs to have its own Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) if it wants to be a successful e-commerce hub like Kuala Lumpur, Assistant Minister for Entrepreneur & SME Development Datuk Haji Mohd Naroden Haji Majais said. Naroden, who is also Assistant Minister and Assistant Minister for E-Commerce Sarawak pointed out if Sarawak does not have it own DFTZ, it will surely be left behind.

“We need collection centres at every port and at international aiports such as Kuching International Airport (KIA), Sibut International Airport (SIA) and Miri International Airport (MIA). “At the same time we need to create DFTZ in international ports such as Kuching Port, Tanjung Manis Port, Bintulu Port and Baram Port (Miri Port),” he pointed port when launching Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ Small Medium Entreprise (SME) Onboard Programme at Hotel Grand Margherita Kuching here yesterday. “ DFTZ also needs to be created in major industrial area such as High-Tech Park at Samajaya in Kuching where the State Government is proposing to establish Digital Village that will cover all services such as Pos Laju and so on,” Naroden said.

The same also goes for major area such as Samalaju in Bintulu, Tanjung Manis Halal Hub in the central region which has and which will attract a lot of investors from overseas and which has been and will produce goods and products for export, he said.

Naroden said his proposition may sound too ambitious, but the reality is it is a global phenomenon that is happening throughout the world. Look at the already successful players who don’t have own products like ALIBABA, LAZADA, UBER and GRAB.

Therefore, we need facilities and ecosystem like these because if we want to advance in business, especially through e-commerce platform that enables us to compete at the global level,” he said. Naroden believed that DFTZ could be created as a virtual reality anywhere as along as there are facilities available at the processing and distribution centres anywhere.

What is important is declaration, clearance as well as logistic and deliveries are within control. Naroden said currently, Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro comprises 97 per cent of business in Malaysia and contribute only 37 per cent of the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) and therefore with the creation of DFTZ, it will hopefully be able to increase SMS and Micro business contribution to the national economy and the states as well.

He said the DFTZ in Malaysia is the first global digital commerce platform outside of China and is expected to double the SMEs business export growth of about 60,000 employment opportunities by 2025 and DFTZ will improve the logistic sector and is estimated to be able to support goods business transaction worth RM65 billion. Also present was Kameri bin Haji Affendi, Permanent Secretary , Ministry of International Trade and E-Commerce, Sarawak.

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