SEPANG, Nov 3 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be adaptive when expanding their businesses, especially via the digital free trade zone (DTFZ), which went live today.
Addressing 1,972 SMEs, he said SMEs were particularly chosen to be in the DFTZ as it would be a good platform for them to “trade big,” globally.
“The SMEs should be able to see the opportunity, whereby the online platform can help sell their products (with) the right technique,” he said after officiating the groundbreaking ceremony, together with Alibaba Founder Jack Ma, for the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, expressed hope for the DFTZ to be successful, supported by companies mainly from the younger generation.
The DFTZ is a key component to drive Malaysia’s digital economy, facilitating SMEs to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the Internet economy and cross-border trade.
Najib said the DFTZ is expected to create 60,000 jobs and doubleSME exports to RM162.9 billion by 2025.
The productivity of local SMEs is also expected to increase three to four per cent by 2025.
“We are not there yet, once we are there, Malaysia is set to become a top 20 world’s biggest economy.
“Therefore, I want the SMEs to really grow by leaps and bounds, phenomenally, and that will happen because of DFTZ,” he said.
Najib also said that the government was doing everything that it could, while ensuring continuous support to be given to this industry, which was the country’s economic backbone.
In Budget 2018 presentation, the government announced that the first phase of the DFTZ would see the participation of some 1,500 SMEs and attract RM700 million worth of investments and create 2,500 jobs.
The Prime Minister said so far 1,972 SMEs participated in the DFTZ, exceeding the initial target of 1,500.
“Under the recent budget, we have put aside an allocation for the first phase of DFTZ and we will set more money for the second phase,” he said.
Najib also announced that world renowned e-commerce firm Alibaba would dedicate a seven-day “Malaysian Week” next year on its platform to, among others, promote Malaysian food, products and tourism destinations. ― Bernama