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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 (Bernama) — Small and Medium (SMEs) enterprises are urged to use the e-commerce platform to strengthen their exports.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said local SMEs have to leverage various existing initiatives such as e-Payment, MYCyberSALE, e-Usahawan and eTRADE channels to boost their export options.

He added that the e-commerce platform could boost trade from the SMEs to 20 per cent to 23 per cent by 2020 from the current 16 per cent to 18 per cent.

“This year, we have put a number of initiatives to ensure the SMEs export a lot more of their products,” he told reporters after the launch of the inaugural Cross-Border eCommerce Conference here, Monday.

Mustapa also said that the e-commerce platform was among the agenda in both the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, signalling the importance of the platform as a tool to increase export.

For instance, he said Chapter 14 of the 12-nation US-led TPPA mentioned that e-commerce is a game changer not only for Malaysian SMEs but also for all signatories.

TPPA member countries, namely Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia account for almost 40 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product and a third of global trade.

“Therefore, the SMEs need to adapt to the new business environment and follow market rules as the country progresses,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mustapa today witnessed five document exchanges between Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and eTrade Online Marketplaces.

Among the parties were Alibaba.com Singapore e-commerce Ptd Ltd, eBay International AG and Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Ptd Ltd.

eTrade programme was established on Oct 1, 2014 and houses 426 local SMEs with a wide range of products including pharmaceuticals, automotive as well as cosmetics and toiletries.

The conference was co-organised by Matrade, International Trade and Industry Ministry, National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Malaysia and the Bumiputera Manufacturers and Services Industry Association of Malaysia.

In conjunction with the conference, Mustapa also chaired the inaugural meeting of inter-agency, National eCommerce Council.

He said the meeting would set the industry agenda and issue coordination for related agencies including the ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia.

“We want to come up with aggressive campaigns to make sure this sector continues to grow at an impressive rate,” said Mustapa.

BERNAMA

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