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Malaysian companies to ride on DFTZ for growth

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-24 15:05

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian companies' export sales to China are expected to leap with the establishment of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), a platform proposed by the Malaysian government and backed by Alibaba, business leaders said.

"With DFTZ, we expect our export sales to grow at double digit yearly going forward," Malaysia's integrated health supplements company Bioalpha's managing director and founder William Hon Tian Kok told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Hon said his key objective of using the platform is to grow the group's Chinese market. Export sales accounted for less than 1 percent of the group's total sales and China is the group's second largest export market after Indonesia.

The group, which is focusing on business to business model currently, is also at advanced discussions with some Chinese potential partners for products distribution.

To him, Alibaba, as one of the world's biggest e-commerce sites, has an extensive global reach allowing the group to leverage and gain access to new markets.

"Indeed, since the platform went live, we have received good responses. Half of the inquiries are from China, and another half are from other regions such as South Africa, Australia and Japan," he said, adding sales could be better with these potential new markets.

As DFTZ has facilitated the delivery services, he said, the group will also explore the business to consumer model next year.

"Look at how the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate has set another Single's Day record, we will definitely benefit when we initiate the business to consumer model next year," he added.

Meanwhile, a Bentong-based durian producer said it is looking to sell more durians to China via DFTZ.

"I have been planning to sell the seasonal tropical fruits to China, and I believe DFTZ will facilitate the export process," Lee Chee Chun, founder of Exssia Enterprise, told Xinhua.

As the Malaysian government is targeting to penetrate the Chinese market by exporting more durians, Lee sees the need to tap the opportunity.

Lee, who has been exploring ways to process the "king of fruits", hopes to expand its durian business to other countries after penetrating into China.

"There are a lot of inquiries, but durian products are still new for some markets, thus it needs time to see the result," he added.

The Malaysian government introduced the world's first DFTZ outside of China last year to facilitate seamless cross-border trade and enable local businesses to export their goods with a priority for e-commerce.

Since November, 1,900 small and medium-sized enterprises have been participating.

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