The Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has signed a three-way Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s Hangzhou Municipal Government and Alibaba Company Ltd to facilitate global trade among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) under the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP).

The MoU seeks to build the infrastructure for seamless cross-border e-commerce trade between Malaysia and China, with the three parties agreeing to jointly explore potential strategic collaborations. The parties will collaborate to create linkages between the China (Hangzhou) Cross-Border E-Commerce Comprehensive Pilot Zone and Malaysia’s DFTZ, established by Alibaba and MDEC in March this year, as pilot implementation towards building an e-road for global trade.

“Fostering closer partnership with China is imperative to sustaining our economic growth, and e-business and commerce is clearly the future of global trade,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in a statement today. “It is therefore exciting to witness the forming of a partnership between government and reputable private enterprises, that will work together to lay the foundation for a more efficient conduct of cross-border trade in the Internet age, to the benefit of all,” Najib said.

By leveraging Alibaba’s internet technology and big data, the parties will facilitate cooperation between public and private enterprises in Hangzhou and Malaysia to provide easier access to Customs clearance, inspection and permit issuance for SMEs to do cross-border trade.

“Alibaba has a vision for an eWTP that empowers small and medium businesses around the world to engage in frictionless trade that is shared by Malaysia. Our partnership with MDEC is critical as we work together to create the essential infrastructure for digital trade,” said Alibaba Group’s CEO Daniel Zhang. Zhang also said Alibaba’s partnership with MDEC would help it achieve its goal to serve two billion consumers, create 100 million job opportunities and support 10 million businesses.

Earlier, Alibaba Cloud received MSC Status certification from MDEC, which will enable local businesses in technology transformation by supporting system integration, fintech, internet companies and eCommerce. Alibaba Cloud has identified people, talent development and start-up technology support as key components for its operations in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said the DFTZ aims to assist Malaysian SMEs overcome the complexity of doing cross-border trading, remove barriers, support them in realising their full economic potential and ensure that they can also enjoy the benefits of global commerce. “The eCommerce hubs linking the two countries will allow Malaysian SMEs to conduct global trade with China via Hangzhou port with ease,” Yasmin said.

Launched in March 2017, the DFTZ will provide physical and virtual zones to support internet companies to trade goods, provide services, innovate and co-create solutions. The physical zone comprises the eFulfillment Hub and Satellite Services Hub, whereas the virtual zone consists of the eServices Platform. By 2025, the DFTZ could potentially double the growth of Malaysian SMEs’ goods export, support US$65 billion worth of goods moving through the special trade zone and create 60,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2025.

TEM