13 May 2020
Alibaba Group has announced that its electronic world trade platform (eWTP) at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) will serve as one of its three global hubs besides that of Belgium and Ethiopia for the delivery of medical goods to combat COVID-19.
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), in a statement today, said the selection would further strengthen Malaysia’s role as a major trade hub in the region for logistics operations as the global community continues its fight against the pandemic.
On March 26, the Prime Minister’s Office, together with the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation, agreed to donate 560,000 medical items, including face masks, test equipment, protective clothing, and face shields that had been sent to the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) via the eWTP at the KLIA.
The foundations are currently in the process of continuing their second donation to Asian countries, including Malaysia.
Through the donations, MDEC said Alibaba plans to make the eWTP the Malaysian delivery location for contributions, as well as a temporary storage and relocation hub before the aid is distributed to neighbouring countries.
“The aid this time around includes almost 80 tonnes of medical supplies to be flown via several cargo flights from China,” the agency said.
Alibaba will work closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to leverage the eWTP hub in the KLIA, Liege, Belgium and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as United Nations-owned facilities around the world to efficiently distribute medical supplies.
Through this process, Malaysia’s eWTP hub will play an important role in the distribution of the supplies to the Asia-Pacific region.
MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri said besides making Malaysia a hub for the delivery of the supplies, the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) also aims to support Malaysia’s e-commerce aspirations as stipulated in the National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap launched in 2016.
“Through this plan, the e-commerce contribution to Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is aimed at optimising SMEs’ digital transformation facilities, especially in e-commerce adoption, expanding exports and promoting local brands across the border,” he said.