Malaysia Pioneered in Building the World’s First EWTP “Pilot Area”
On March 22, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation ( MDEC) announced a strategic partnership with Alibaba Group, and both parties will jointly build the first EWTP “pilot area” outside China in Malaysia, to help young people and SMES in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia participate in global trade.
“Today is an exciting day for our country,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib said at the launching ceremony: “We have a great partner!”
An opportunity for SMES in Malaysia to enter the international market
Najib was satisfied with the progress of the EWTP project. According to him, the negotiation with Alibaba for establishing the first EWTP “pilot area” outside China was started last November, and four months later the idea is turned into reality, demonstrating the efficiency of Malaysia and Alibaba.
Najib said, “Alibaba Group is aiming at boosting the development of trade, especially for these small and medium-sized enterprises, which makes it the perfect partner for the EWTP project. Meanwhile, the EWTP project will create a lot of opportunities for Malaysia.”
Najib also had a high expectation for the economic future of the EWTP project. He said, Alibaba had created 30 million jobs in China, and the “310” model of Ants Financia l Services Group (that is, the applicant fill out the application form online in 3 minutes, and the system complete the review in 1 second and approve the lending, involving 0 mannual work) also created a “new world”. The same change is taking place in other parts of the world, for example, there are 200 million users of mobile payment in India. With the EWTP “pilot area”, Malaysia is expected to realize financial inclusion and doubledigit growth in cross-border trade. “The free E-trade zone contributes 37% of GDP, and 97% are small and medium enterprises,” said Najib.
Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group, said: “I have been trying to make the vision of EWTP come true since I put up the EWTP initiative in 2016. The first EWTP digital hub outside China is of great importance, as it will support the future development of global small businesses and young people, and push the EWTP initiative. Through innovation in logistics, payment, customs clearance and big data, together with governmental support and corporate cooperation, the EWTP vision will come true, providing opportunities for small businesses and young people to participate in the globalization.”
This “Digital Free Trade Zone” is rooted in Jack Ma’s e-hub concept. In his vision, e-hubs connect each other to form e-roads around the world, and provide small and medium enterprises with all the infrastructure needed for global trade, making “buying and selling globally” possible.
With the help of Alibaba, the Malaysian “Digital Free Trade Area” will
be an e-hub integrated logistics, payment, customs clearance and data functions, providing the infrastructure for Malaysia to develop digital economy and connecting small and medium- sized enterprises in Malaysia to the world. Specifically, led by Cainiao and Lazada, the project will build a super international logistics center at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, to provide supply chain facilities and business services of logistics, warehousing, customs clearance, trade and finance, helping small and mediumsized enterprises in Malaysia with the cross-border trade; to explore new crossborder e-trade rules for convenient and efficient “one-stop” foreign trade services; to provide payment and inclusive financial services, promoting B2B trade; to make use of Ali cloud and big data technology, supporting Malaysia to foster local entrepreneurs and digital economic professionals.
Alibaba Group CEO Zhang Yong said, “Our vision is to help Malaysia build a new ecosystem, to encourage e- commerce and digital economic innovation, and to promote small businesses and young people in Malaysia to benefit from the globalization.”
It is reported that Malaysia will cooperate with the Hangzhou Crossborder E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area on cross-border e-commerce trade facilitation, to promote trade between Malaysia and Hangzhou as well as the enterprises of Malaysia and China, especially SMES.
Build the future infrastructure for global trade
Located in Malaysia, aiming at building the future infrastructure for global free trade network of SMES, the EWTP project in Malaysia praised by Alibaba as e-hub has reasons.
At the launching ceremony, Zhang Yong mentioned “infrastructure” many times as he responded the questions from reporters. He said, “Trade has no boundaries. Facilitating trade through the Internet and boosting free trade between SMES all over the world, so as to provide consumers in various countries and regions with global goods, that is the origin of EWTP. To achieve the target, it needs supports of information, payment, logistics and services, and the infrastructure comes first.”
Based on Zhang Yong’s introduction, infrastructure construction includes four aspects: logistics, payment, cloud computing large data services and integrated foreign trade service platform.
For logistics, Alibaba will build a logistics center in Malaysia, which can cover the Southeast Asian market and provide one-stop customs clearance, warehousing and distribution services, speeding up the flow of import and export goods.
Ant Financial Services will provide payment and financial services centering on imports and exports. By now, the group has signed agreements with local banks for payment financial cooperation, and introduction of established e-wallet technology to Southeast Asia.
As the main service provider, Ali Cloud will carry out full cooperation with Malaysia on cloud technology and cloud knowledge training, and provide cloud services to Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises. Zhang Yong specifically mentioned that, Ali will help Malaysia with personnel training to spread cloud service among small and medium-sized enterprises.
In order to improve the export efficiency of local enterprises, Ali will introduce the highly mature integrated foreign trade service platform model in China like Just One Touch to Malaysia, providing small and medium- sized enterprises in Southeast Asia with single electronic port that connects all governmental service platforms.
Zhang Yong also revealed that the third e-hub is under negotiation, in addition to the EWTP projects in China and Malaysia. He said, “By now we have another hub outside of China, and the third will emerge soon. And the three e-hubs will connect each other to form a network, providing free data flow and trade facilities. Based on this increasingly growing network, the dream of free trade for small and medium-sized enterprises will become true. Finally, the target of Alibaba, namely serving two billion consumers around the world, creating 100 million jobs and fostering 10 million businesses with profitability, can turn into a reality, and also Alibaba’s strategy and vision of globalization.”