KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — The Malaysia e-commerce market is on the right track to achieve projected growth of 21 per cent by 2020 said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“We are confident the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) will be a catalyst to increase the contribution to the e-commerce industry in Malaysia,” he said during the Malaysian Digital Economic Forum today.

Mustapa said the DFTZ will facilitate the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the internet economy and cross-border trade.

“Over the years, Malaysia's digital economy has seen exponential growth. To date, 58,824 online businesses have already registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

“Latest figures from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) also indicate that the digital economy accounted for 18.2 per cent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 while the share of e-commerce in the national GDP has increased to 6.1 per cent compared to 5.9 per cent in 2015,” he said.

He said the current contribution of 18.6 per cent in export by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is still relatively small considering SMEs making 98.5 per cent of business establishments in Malaysia.

“Nine out of 10 business establishments in Malaysia are SMEs. 28 per cent of these have online presence and 15 per cent already use that presence for export purposes,” he said.

He noted that the government is committed to undertake initiatives that will further expand these numbers.

“The launch of the DFTZ Pilot Project by Prime Minister last year also saw growing interest among local and international e-commerce players,” said Mustapa.

Mustapa also said that the government will work towards ensuring the sustainability of the 1,998 SMEs that are already DFTZ-listed and assist more SMEs to list on the same in line with the national aspiration of ensuring SMEs are future-ready and equipped to venture into cross-border e-commerce.