DFTZ Goes Live To Support Malaysian SMEs

1972 local SMEs part of the first wave of the new trade zone

Taking up the old LCCT terminal, the Kuala Lumpur Air Cargo Terminal 1 (KACT1) is the first of the two-phase project for the newly established Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) jointly developed by the government of Malaysia and Ali Baba Group. The world’s first DFTZ aims to facilitate SMEs to capitalize on the convergence of exponential growth on the internet as well as cross border trade.

With an aim of creating over 60,000 jobs by 2025, the DFTZ also will increase the SMEs goods export value to over US$38 Million while moving nearly twice that amount in the same time-period. The KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park is phase one of the project, which is managed by Pos Malaysia and CAINIAO network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group. To date, over 1972 SMEs are live during first day of operations at the eFullfilment hub.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak (3rd from left) and Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group (4th fro left) officiates the groundbreaking ceremony of DFTZ.

“The Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative goal is to build an inclusive and innovative global trading platform for SMEs, young people and consumers,” says Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group.

The prime minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak meanwhile said that, “SMEs have the power to transform the economy as they are ambitious, nimble and have the potential to create high value employment. The purpose of the DFTZ is to make it easier for SMEs to do cross-border trade. Together with Alibaba as a catalyctic partner in DFTZ, I am confident that Malaysian SMEs can grow across the region, building on the experience garnered from Alibaba.”

During the ground-breaking ceremony, it was mentioned that the new eFullfilment hub will optimize border clearance and handling – going from 6 hours to 3 hours with 90% Service Level Agreement (SLA) and improve Cargo Terminal Operations (CTO) from 4 hours to 90 minutes.

To facilitate the increase in productivity, the eFullfilment hub is equipped with the latest technology, including sorting, shelving, and pick-pack facilities, as well as robots in ensuring smoother logistics with packages at the hub.

With an expected double-digit growth with the commencement of the eFullfilment hub, this will position the KLIA Aeropolis as a leading cCommerce tans-shipment hub.

Phase two of the DFTZ will include new construction on a 60-acre plot of land adjacent to the KACT1, that will be jointly developed by Malaysian Airports Berhad and CAINIAO. This new development will be operational in 2020. Including in the next phase of expansion are support for other leading modes of transportation, including sea and rail connectivity, to turn the DFTZ into a true eCommerce centre in the region.

Byline: Sharil Abdul Rahman

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