DFTZ allocation puts Malaysia ahead in tech spending in Asia Pacific

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 27): The RM83.5 million allocation to develop the first phase of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) puts Malaysia ahead of most Asia Pacific countries, particularly where growth of 6% is expected in technology spending in 2018.

Gartner Inc research vice-president Tervinderjit Singh said the allocation made in Budget 2018 shows emphasis by Malaysia to become a fully-developed economy, through targeted initiatives such as the Malaysian digital policy.

“The upgrading of smart manufacturing facilities and futurise centre in Cyberjaya, Selangor, reflects the government’s sustained commitment to invest and support the industry, as it progresses to the next level.

“The RM83.5 million allocation that is expected to attract RM700 million in investments and creating 2,500 jobs also puts the nation in good stead,” he said in a statement today.

Tervinderjit said the investments would strengthen Malaysia’s infrastructure and raise import values to push it into becoming the region’s primary e-commerce hub.

Lazada Malaysia chief executive officer Hans-Peter Ressel said the allocation for DFTZ would spur the growth of local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

As a leading online shopping and selling destination in Malaysia, Lazada would support its local SMEs and help them build their e-commerce businesses.

“Budget 2018 not only underlines e-commerce as a primary driver towards Malaysia becoming a fully developed digital economy, but also digitalise the country as a whole in preparation for the coming fourth industrial revolution,” he said.

The DFTZ, located at KLIA Aeropolis in Sepang, will feature an e-fulfilment hub, a satellite services hub and an e-service platform.

It is the first outside China that would stimulate growth in electronic trade, and transform the Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the regional gateway. In order to make DTFZ a regional e-commerce hub, the government would also increase the minimum value for imports to RM800, from RM500.