: Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma has described Malaysia as an efficient and very
business-friendly nation to establish digital economy collaborations.
"Many asked me why I chose Malaysia to work together on the digital free trade zone (DFTZ).
"I told them that Malaysia is very business-friendly and much more efficient than I thought," he said in his opening speech before jointly launching the DFTZ with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak here today.
Ma said the Multimedia Super Corridor project inspired him to pursue the digital world idea and moved Alibaba and Malaysia to realise the establishment of the e-hub near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
"The DFTZ is the first digital free trade zone outside China, which will be utilising new technology to empower small businesses and young entrepreneurs.
"There will be a logistic hub to cater for the e-commerce business with a one stop service centre.
"It can grow to become a regional logistic hub that could deliver packages within 72 hours in the next 20 years.
He was optimistic that a digital economy would help increase gross domestic product (GDP) contribution from small businesses in Malaysia to at least 80 per cent.
Currently, small businesses in Malaysia contributed less than 40 per cent of the nation's GDP with small and medium-sized enterprises accounting for about 97 per cent of total businesses.