PUTRAJAYA (May 2): The new Government, which will reach its one-year mark in a few days’ time, has outlined a clear goal, namely to turn Malaysia into a developed nation with good environmental and social protection policies, economic inclusion and harmony, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
The Prime Minister outlined the fundamentals of the new Malaysia as, among others, boosting productivity at all levels, promoting quality investment, ensuring sustainable long-term economic growth, and helping industries to rise.
He said Malaysia, like many other developing countries, is heading towards a new era and frontier of digital economy.
“I am confident that the nation will be able to step into the future together progressively and still sustain our culture, heritage and legacy.
“We have come a long way to be where we are today and despite all the challenges, we still stand united as Malaysians,” he said when launching the Bohai Commodity Exchange of China (BOCE) Malaysia/ASEAN e-commerce trading platform here, today.
Dr Mahathir said the digital economy would not only benefit start-up companies but also existing export-ready companies wanting to jump into digital inclusion.
With the establishments of e-commerce platforms backed by the Government, cross-border trade is safer, more efficient and effective for businesses, he said.
Dr Mahathir said the free-trade agreements (FTAs), which the Malaysian Government had signed, could help companies to export and enhance Malaysia’s competitive advantage, strengthen investor confidence and to a large extent, build the country's economic sustainability.
"It is important for Malaysian businesses to go beyond our borders, explore more opportunities and expand markets.
“At the ASEAN level, Malaysia has six regional FTAs with ASEAN Free-Trade Agreement (AFTA), China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India,” he said.
On the BOCE Malaysia/ASEAN e-commerce trading platform, Dr Mahathir said Putrajaya has now become one of the six global offices of BOCE operating outside China, apart from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Ukraine and Australia.
The Prime Minister said this is Malaysia’s first ever commodities e-commerce trading platform operated by a Malaysian company, Commodities Global Trade Sdn Bhd (CGTSB) that holds the exclusive rights under BOCE.
These rights primarily enable commodities global trade to cater for the whole ASEAN market while making Malaysia the new gateway for ASEAN venturing into China’s market, he said.
He said the CGTSB is working closely with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Primary Industries Ministry, Economic Affairs Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, and Malaysia Palm Oil Council to encourage more local exporters to use the platform.
The Prime Minister said the new e-commerce platform would enhance trade between Malaysia and China, ASEAN and other countries and would certainly boost commodity sector including palm oil.
Meanwhile, CGTSB chairman Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan said BOCE has operated in China for seven years with trading volume worth about 1 trillion Renminbi.
"With the e-platform, CGTSB expects more Malaysian and ASEAN small and medium enterprises to seize the opportunity to grow their businesses in China," he said.