The increase in the number of establishments operating in the wholesale and retail trade sector, coupled with the higher internet usage among them, shows that Malaysia is moving towards a developed nation status, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
Citing the Preliminary Report Wholesale and Retail Trade Census 2019 (WRC 2019) launched today, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the number of establishments operating in wholesale and retail trade grew 4.8 per cent to 468,930 in 2018 from 370,725 in 2013. “The percentage of internet usage among the establishments jumped to 83.4 per cent in 2018 from 72.2 per cent in 2013,” he told the media in Kuala Lumpur at the launch of the report.
On the usage of information and communications technology, Dr Mohd Uzir said 89.6 per cent or 420,380 establishments were using computers in business in the wholesale and retail sector in 2018, with computer usage improving to 89.6 per cent in 2018 from 85.5 per cent in 2013. “This was against the backdrop of rising e-commerce activities, including the establishment of e-commerce-related companies in the country,” he said.
On the growth in the wholesale and retail trade sector’s establishments, he said it resulted in a surge in revenue generated in the sector, increasing 8.2 per cent annually to RM1.32 trillion in 2018 versus RM893.2 billion in 2013. “The wholesale trade sub-sector was the highest contributor to total revenue of wholesale and retail trade in 2018, contributing 50.9 per cent or RM672.4 billion, followed by retail trade (37.4 per cent or RM494.9 billion) and motor vehicles 11.7 per cent or RM154.4 billion,” he said. Dr Mohd Uzir said the growth in the wholesale and retail trade sector’s establishments would subsequently help boost the gross domestic product (GDP) contribution from the services sector.
The preliminary report also showed the number of persons engaged in the wholesale and retail trade sector increased 3.3 per cent annually to 2.0 million in 2018, with salaries and wages paid amounted to RM62.8 million, growing 10.0 per cent annually from 2013. The value of fixed assets of wholesale and retail trade owned in 2018 amounted to RM134.9 billion compared to RM80.6 billion in 2013, registering an annual growth rate of 10.8 per cent, it added. Selangor continued to dominate the number of establishments of wholesale and retail at 94,857 in 2018, increasing 6.9 per cent compared to that of 2013, followed by Kuala Lumpur (71,433) and Johor (46,530). In terms of total revenue of wholesale and retail trade, Kuala Lumpur recorded the highest value at RM391.6 billion (up 29.6 per cent), followed by Selangor (RM371.7 billion; up 28.1 per cent) and Johor (RM101.1 billion; up 7.6 per cent).
The Preliminary Report WRC 2019 was conducted between March and September this year on registered companies, businesses in the wholesale, retail trade and motor vehicle sectors throughout Malaysia and could be used to measure the competitiveness of the industry players in the sectors. Dr Mohd Uzir said, “It will also assist the government in formulating relevant policies in line with the 2030 Shared Prosperity Vision.” Currently, the services sector contributed about 56-57 per cent to the country’s GDP, while the wholesale and retail trade segment, being the pillar of the services sector, accounted for 16.7 per cent. “We will strive (for the sector) to achieve 60 per cent (of the GDP) and it is expected to be achievable in the next several years,” he said, adding that a developed country is commonly attributed to the services sector as the the backbone of its economic growth.