From DFTZs to DFTZ

Chan Kee Siak, president of Internet Alliance (IA).

First we had the duty-free trade zones, now comes the Digital Free Trade Zone! Internet Alliance (AI) shares the collective feedback of its 50 members of Internet service providers in regards to the Malaysian Government’s latest announcement for a Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ).

Currently, digital connectivity as an economic activity contributes nearly 16% to the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP). In the meantime, Chan Kee Siak, president of IA believes that the successful implementation of DFTZ will improve that number.

The DTFZ aims to boost the country’s e-commerce industry by knocking down tariffs imposed on items that are being shipped into the country (priced over RM500) and enabling faster customs clearance procedures.

The DFTZ is believed to be an extension of the Malaysian Government’s allocation of RM162 million by Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to implement programmes and boost this new digital economy effort.

It is conceptually a microcosm of the current physical free trade zones such as at Pasir Gudang, Bayan Lepas and Port Klang; and DFTZ is meant to offer a conducive and competitive environment for internet companies to digital-based economic activities including trade, provision of services and the development and production of solutions.

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