Malaysia remains an attractive market for e-commerce in Southeast Asia, thanks to its dynamic economy, developed enrapture for digital technologies, qualified talent pool and sizeable young population.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said Malaysia’s e-commerce sector was on a growth trajectory, benefiting from the implementation of programmes under the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap’s (NeSR) six thrust areas.
The National eCommerce Council (NeCC), comprising various ministries and agencies, was established to drive the implementation of the roadmap towards doubling Malaysia’s e-commerce growth rate.
The government’s intervention in six thrust areas namely to accelerate seller adoption of e – commerce, increase adoption of eProcurement by businesses, lift non – tariff barriers (e – Fulfillment, cross – border, e – Payment, consumer protection), realign existing economic incentives, make strategic investments in select eCommerce player(s) and promote national brand to boost cross – border e – commerce.
“Malaysia’s e-commerce market had in fact tripled in size since 2015 by exceeding US$3 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$11 billion in 2025,” he said in an opening keynote address at the virtual 2021 Malaysia Economic and Strategic Outlook Forum, here today.
Alexander said the growth’s trajectory was in fact strengthen by the global pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns in its various guise that had interrupted and disrupted the traditional commerce and transactions.
He said Malaysia had about 25.84 million active internet users (80% of the population) with extremely high rates of mobile phone penetration.
Of the 32.25 million Malaysians, 25 million were social media users, 40.24 million mobile subscriptions, and 24 million use social media on their mobile devices, according to January 2019 data.
With the MyDigital and Malaysia Digital Economy (MDE) Blueprint recently launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the establishment of a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Digital Economy Council will ensure Malaysia to head in the right direction in terms of digitalisation.
“With the prevalence of the COVID – 19 pandemic, many have opted for online shopping as their primary shopping method to satisfy their buying needs while attempting to keep safe from the virus.
“As more and more online retailers emerge in this ever growing and ever advancing market, the number of online shoppers has increased too. As a result, instances of online retailers taking advantage of their customers using unethical or even illegal advertising or marketing tactics to attract more customers has also increased as well,” he said.
While e – commerce is delivering unprecedented product choice, convenience and price transparency, Alexander said the platform had also presented consumers with a number of new risks, such as identity theft and theft of credit card information.
“Fraudulent offers and transactions also are increasing at alarming rates. In addition, e-commerce platforms are increasingly vulnerable to a growing illicit industry distributing harmful, unsafe, substandard, or faulty products – including counterfeit and pirated products.”
He said online shopping platforms should also consider improving their policies when it comes to allowing businesses to use their platform to arbitrarily price their goods.
“These platforms should heighten their controls over these businesses so that when a problem such as fake / misleading discounts arise, these issues may be dealt with in a speedy and satisfactory manner to the consumers affected by such tactics,” he added.
- New Straits Times