The Malaysian Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) Chapter 1

TheStar reported that the Malaysian Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) was launched by Prime Minister on 22-Mar-2017.

It is the brain-child of the Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Razak, Alibaba's Jack Ma being the adviser.

In his keynote, Jack Ma explains the DFTZ.

Imagine coming all the way from the silk route to e-route, with e-route, you need the e-hub.

DFTZ is the e-hub, it is the first for Alibaba outside China.

It is aiming at providing inclusive opportunity for everybody - as long as you have good products, this initiative will enable you (globally).

To understand the DFTZ is very easy - imagine you want to setup the next Alibaba, TaoBao, E-Bay or Amazon, what are the things that you need to become no.1 ?

Software platform, employees, warehouses, approval from governing agencies, logistics, offices and etc.

DFTZ will provide all these to small businesses with a fraction of costs, sponsored by the government of Malaysia and private firms such as Alibaba.

What are the thoughts of the local market with regards to DFTZ ?

Internet Alliance (IA):

The Internet Alliance pointed out two concerns:

I.) The Government called upon to consider ‘fragility’ of local Internet and eCommerce ecosystem in ensuring DFTZ initiatives do not end up being counter-productive,

II.) IA believes successful DFTZ implementation can boost Malaysia’s GDP contribution from digital connectivity economy to 25% (from current 16%) by end 2017.

Mr. Chan Kee Siak, the President of Internet Alliance, was quoted : “So far, only Jack Ma of Alibaba seems to have to be consulted. No doubt he is an international success icon for all things Internet, but IA believes that the input from local internet players and service providers are much more relevant for DFTZ to truly succeed,” says Chan.

11 Street:

11st opined that it is a plus for the e-commerce industy, with the following comments from Hoseok Kim, CEO of 11street:

The announcement of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) could not have come at a more opportune time. Realising the potential of e-commerce as one of the would-be major contributor to the nation’s GDP, DFTZ would not only prove to be a boon to the e-commerce climate but in tow, will also benefit Malaysian consumers. The contents of the announcement would only serve to proliferate e-commerce across Southeast Asia region and 11street as a concerned e-commerce platform is lauding the announcement.

In conclusion, the Digital Free Trade Zone is shaping up to be a boon to local SMEs. The trade zone will serve as gateway to the ASEAN market and allow local products to tap into a wider market. We at 11street will continue to support to initiatives to evolve e-commerce in Malaysia, so as to open up opportunities for a better e-commerce climate for both e-commerce platforms and also entrepreneurs.