Jack Ma, founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, launched the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ ) in Kuala Lumpur earlier today.
DFTZ will provide physical and virtual zones to facilitate SMEs to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the Internet economy and cross-border eCommerce activities. It will act as a microcosm to support internet companies to trade goods, provide services, innovate and co-create solutions.
The launch ceremony also witnessed the exchanges of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) between four parties, and they are:
(1) MDEC and Alibaba Group for strategic collaboration in the development of DFTZ in Malaysia consistent with the objective of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP); and the development of a Regional Hub for eCommerce business, trade facilitation, SME onboarding, cloud services for enterprises and an eFulfillment and logistics hub.
(2) Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad and Cainiao Network for the development of a regional eCommerce and Logistics Hub in KLIA Aeropolis as part of the Digital Free Trade Zone Initiative.
(3) Alipay and Maybank / Alipay and CIMB for the collaboration in launching Alipay barcode payment in Malaysia. This partnership will enable mainland Chinese tourists to make payment using their favourite payment method – their Alipay e-wallet. For Malaysian merchants, this will give them exposure to the vast China market.
(4) MDEC and Catcha Group for the collaboration for the establishment for Kuala Lumpur Internet City (KLIC).
DFTZ consists of three main components that combine both physical and virtual zones. The physical zone comprises of the eFulfillment Hub and Satellite Services Hub while the virtual zone consists of the eServices Platform.
DFTZ will provide SMEs, marketplaces and monobrands a holistic eCommerce trading experience through these benefits:
• Strategic location and global best-in-class facilities
• Gateway to the region and proximity to sea and air ports
• High efficiency modular eFulfillment warehouse
• Satellite services hub to support eCommerce ecosystem
• Employee-centric infrastructure
• Unified government services platform
• Integrated digital eServices platform to access leading global service providers
• Presence of global logistics and fulfilment service providers
• Improve regulatory processes leading to faster customs and cargo clearance
DFTZ has the potential to double the growth rate of Malaysian SME’s goods export by 2025. It is also estimated to support US$65 billion worth of goods moving through DFTZ. Additionally, DFTZ is expected to create 60,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2025.