Najib to launch Digital Free-Trade Zone on Wednesday
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will launch the first Digital Free-Trade Zone on Wednesday. Deputy minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Ahmad Maslan (pic) said the event will also see the presence of Alibaba founder, Jack Ma.He said this in Parliament in response to a question on the strategic framework being undertaken by the Ministry to ride the Industry 4.0 wave, as it could enhance the country’s income to RM2 trillion in the next seven to eight years.
The Digital Free-Trade Zone, a brainchild of Najib, is being planned to encourage more people to join the country’s e-commerce sector. The implementation of the first Digital Free-Trade Zone in the world was unveiled in the 2017 Budget.
Internet tycoon Jack Ma was appointed Malaysia’s digital economy adviser by Datuk Seri Najib during his official to China last year, and to help spearhead the country’s e-commerce development. The Digital Free-Trade Zone will merge physical and virtual zones, with additional online and digital services to facilitate international e-commerce and invigorate Internet-based innovation.
Datuk Ahmad said Malaysia as a country that depended on trade needed to enhance its value chain to become a high quality factory base through the use of technology to effectively compete at both the regional and global levels. “As such, the government has a number of initiatives related to Industry 4.0 including declaring 2017 as the Malaysia Internet Economy Year,’ he added.
Industry 4.0 encourages companies to use automation and exchange data in manufacturing technology that creates smart plants, with machines linked to the Internet and a system that can capture the overall production chain.
Datuk Ahmad added that the contribution of Malaysia’s digital economy to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had reached 17.8 per cent in 2015 and almost realised the targeted 18.2 per cent set for 2020. “A sum of RM162 million was allocated in Budget 2017 for various programmes as e-Commerce ecosystem and the Digital Maker Movement, as well as identifying a new location for the Digital Hub Malaysia,” he added.