Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Lim Ban Hong has urged local companies to capitalise on digitalisation and e-commerce to build a global brand name in the “new normal” following the Covid-19 pandemic. “The Covid-19 outbreak has led to unprecedented changes to our way of life and the way we do business and communicate. “We have to seek the fine balance of protecting lives and protecting the livelihood of the people, as we get back on the path of restarting the economy, ” he said in a statement.

He added that the constraints brought about by Covid-19 will become part of everyday life, resulting in challenges in adapting to the new normal, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “Malaysian companies should view the changes positively and take the opportunity to accelerate digital transformation to move up the value chain.

“One of the opportunities available for local industries is e-commerce,” he said.
He noted that e-commerce has grown over the years, contributing RM115.5bil in 2018, or about 8% of the nation’s gross domestic product. “I strongly encourage industry players to embrace digital technologies and ride the e-commerce wave to put their brand name on the world map,” he added.

Although some businesses have moved towards e-commerce, Datuk Lim said many companies have yet to do so. “To ease the transition for local businesses, the eTrade Programme Incentive by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) offers RM5,000 for qualified applicants in the form of the e-Voucher, reimbursement for claimable expenses or both. “This is to encourage local companies to accelerate exports through participation in international e-commerce platforms,” he added.

Datuk Lim cited Megix Industries Sdn Bhd, a local SME, as an example of a success story under the eTrade Programme by listing its products on an international e-commerce platform since 2017. Megix Industries managing director Francis Ng said the programme has been helpful for traditional businesses which usually faced difficulties in marketing products internationally. “Previously, exporters had to go through many different processes such as foreign currency conversion, logistics freight management and language translation. This has now been simplified using e-commerce platforms, ” Ng added. He added that export accounts for about 55% of the company’s total sales with their products exported to 20 countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Ghana and Nigeria.


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