Malaysia Becomes ASEAN’s E-commerce Gateway To China

Mahathir bin Mohamad and Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad before the bilateral meeting of the Second Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People on April 25, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo: Andrea Verdelli/Pool via REUTERS)

During the last China International Import Commodities Fair on November 6 of 2018 in Shanghai, Tianjin Bohai Commodity Exchange (BOCE) and Commodity Global Trade Sdn Bhd (CGTSB) of Malaysia signed a "Cooperation Letter of Intent" and "International Regional Cross-Border E-Commerce Service Provider Cooperation Agreement which will place Malaysia into an e-commerce gateway of the ASEAN nations to China.

E-commerce is important as the globe enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is turning into a primary mode of business and trade around the globe. ASEAN nations now tend towards the development and use of e-commerce in most of its industries.

China's Belt and Road Initiative is expected to improve economic and trade ties of the nations around the world. The initiative is a development strategy of Chinese President Xi Jinping which involves infrastructure develops and investments with 152 nations and international organization in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America, and Africa.

The ASEAN will play a major part in the Belt and Road initiative of China because of its strategic location, its thriving markets, and its fast developing country members. China and the members of the ASEAN will both benefit from the initiative.

The agreement signed by the BOCE and the CGTSB will place Malaysia in a significant spot in the Belt and Road initiative. CGTSB is tasked as a regional trading platform service provider for Malaysia and ASEAN countries. The BOCE MALAYSIA/ASEAN, an e-commerce trading platform, will enable Malaysia and its ASEAN business partners to join in the Chinese market through a secured and efficient digital platform. The platform will also aid traders who wish to participate in the Belt and Road initiative.

The will provide traders support with their exports to China while enjoying highly profitable market prices and unlimited export volumes. It can also provide buyers and traders with the capacity to build connections that are important for their trading activities. It will serve as a one-stop center that will facilitate the registration, bidding, and documentation for exporters.

According to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, technology enables the proliferation of new ideas as countries prepare to seize growth opportunities while working through a myriad of challenges and, to that end, ASEAN countries need to be digitally ready both in terms of connectivity, infrastructure, and adoption of technology across countries and businesses.

He added that it is blurring the lines between when and how consumers learn about products, decide on purchase and actually transacts and, ultimately it all boils down to product availability anytime anywhere at a competitive cost.

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