Najib, Jack Ma Flags Off 1,972 Export-Ready SMEs onboard DFTZ

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Prime Minister Najib Razak and founder/executive chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma brought-to-live Malaysia’s Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) by flagging off more than 1,972 export-ready small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on board.


The world’s first DFTZ is a key component in driving Malaysia’s digital economy, facilitating SMEs to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the Internet economy and cross-border trade.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

“SMEs have the power to transform the economy. They are ambitious, nimble and have the potential to create high-value employment,” said Najib after officiating the groundbreaking ceremony together with Ma for the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park.


“They have the power to move Malaysia to become a high-income nation,” the prime minister said.

KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park will optimise border clearance and handling to three hours from six hours, at present, with improved cargo terminal operations from four hours to 90 minutes.

The launch of the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park is Alibaba’s first regional eFulfillment hub outside China.


It is expected to double the growth of Malaysia’s air cargo volume from the current level of about 700,000 tonnes a year to 1.3 million tonnes a year within ten years.


Ma, the Chinese business magnate, said he believed the collaboration was the beginning of a long-standing strategic partnership between the two nations.

“Alibaba Group definitely plans to stay and strengthen our presence here,” Ma said.

Hmad Irham Mohd Noor/NST

The eFulfillment hub is equipped with the latest technology, including sorting, shelving and pick-pack facilities, light industrial units that allow minor repairs and assembly prior to shipping goods, Customs inspection and quarantine area and category specific facilities such as secure ware, temperature-controlled storage and other facilities.