Budget 2016: Transforming the e-commerce landscape through SME development

  • TECH
  • Friday, 23 Oct 2015

Driving the local e-commerce industry: Industry insiders believe that enabling SMEs to thrive is an important driver to growing the e-commerce landscape in Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR: In the aftermath of the Budget 2016 announcement, several companies have voiced their support of the government’s policies, specifically the initiatives listed for SME development.  

The policies singled out for applause include the RM1.5bil allocations to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) for multiple R&D and entrepreneurship initiatives; the RM200mil allocations for SME Technology Transformation Fund; and the RM1.2bil allocations under Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to improve the telecommunication infrastructure, which is to cover rural broadband projects, National Fibre Backbone Infrastructure, high-speed broadband, and undersea cable system. 

One such company is 11street (www.11street.my), one of the largest online marketplaces in Malaysia. Its CEO, Hoseok Kim, said he believed that the priorities presented by the government will help Malaysia move closer towards a high-income nation. 

“For example, allocations for Entrepreneurs Acceleration Scheme, SME Capacity and Capability Enhancement Scheme, SME Technology Transformation Fund and SME Blueprint, will positively facilitate SMEs to improve their business value and serve to invigorate them to continue playing a key role of contributing 41% of GDP by 2020,” said Kim. 

He pointed out that enabling SMEs points to the progressive growth within the e-commerce landscape in the country, which is especially true when SMEs are able to sustain their business in the future economic environment and further venture into the online market ­­– something that Kim says aligns closely with 11street’s commitment to growing the local e-commerce landscape. 

“Support by MCMC in the form of allocating RM1.2 billion to offer high-speed broadband to rural areas will assist to amplify the growth of mobile shopping and ‘mobile-first’,” said Kim. 

He added that as high-speed broadband this is quickly becoming an emerging driver for e-commerce, having seamless and fast Internet connectivity will allow more Malaysians to use their mobile devices to head online and shop.  

In addition, initiatives to improve logistics infrastructures within the country – through an improved rail transport network and highways by 2016 – will also be a boom to the e-commerce industry as faster and more effective delivery services can be enjoyed by sellers and consumers.  

“These allocations are certainly a step in the right direction to positively enhance, support and grow the Malaysian e-commerce market,” he said.  

Another company that voiced its support for the Budget 2016 initiatives tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Tun Razak is Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the technology hub enabler behind Cyberjaya. 

Cyberview Sdn Bhd managing director Faris Yahaya welcomed the allocations for innovation, SME and entrepreneurship, and was especially supportive of the Cyberjaya focused developments, in particular the implementation of Cyber City Centre in Cyberjaya – with a development cost of almost RM11bil for a period of five years – and the building of a new hospital in Cyberjaya. 

“The establishment of Cyber City Centre and hospital is definitely a key factor to heighten the citizens’ quality of life, and Cyberview is committed to facilitate and provide the necessary support in industry development, investor relations, tech hub development and management,” said Faris. 

As for the allocations made to boost the ICT development and entrepreneurs in the country, he said Cyberview is certain that these will also greatly encourage the growth of innovation enterprises in Cyberjaya in 2016.  

“Coupled with Cyberview’s guidance and consultation, those allocations will perfectly complement our planned talent development initiatives in Cyberjaya,” he said.

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