BANGKOK – Malaysia and Thailand should work together in assisting the private sector to tap into the immense opportunities of e-commerce, said Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) director of ASEAN and Oceania section, Raja Badrulnizam Raja Kamalzaman, reported Bernama.
He said companies are encouraged to engage in more cross-border e-commerce online business by selling their products and services in established e-marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada, and JD Central.
“At MATRADE, we believe that Malaysia and Thailand can work closely together to address issues that are of common interests to both countries and in other areas of trade cooperation.
“This will facilitate greater business linkages for our private sector ranging from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), mid-tier companies, and large corporations especially in tapping into the immense opportunities that e-commerce offers,” he said at the virtual Export Acceleration Mission (EAM) to Bangkok on October 26.
Raja Badrulnizam said from January to August this year, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Thailand registered a growth of 24.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM62.66 billion, with exports recording RM33.90 billion and imports RM28.76 billion.
Among the top exports were electrical and electronic products (28.5%), chemicals and chemical products (12.8%) and crude petroleum (8.4%), while top imported products were electrical and electronic products (21.4%), transport equipment (13.5%) and chemicals and chemical products (11.8%).
Raja Badrulnizam said Thailand was Malaysia’s second-largest trading partner or 17.8% of Malaysia’s total trade with ASEAN in 2021, and the second-largest export destination, or 16.6% of Malaysia’s total export to ASEAN.
“The total bilateral trade with Thailand amounted to RM79.63 billion in which exports were valued at RM45.33 billion and imports at RM34.30 billion.
“While from Thailand’s perspective, Malaysia was Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner, fifth-largest export destination and fourth-largest source of import,” he said.
With a good business collaboration and partnership between Malaysia and Thailand, Raja Badrulnizam said it could drive the two countries’ bilateral trade to the next level.
A total of 10 Malaysian companies under MATRADE from sectors such as food and beverage, healthcare, skincare and IT business solutions, among others, attended the EAM with the aim of boosting exports of Malaysian products and services in Thailand.
The three-day EAM, which started on October 26, would provide a networking platform as well as build business partnerships between the Malaysian and Thai business communities.
Raja Badrulnizam said the e-commerce market in ASEAN is estimated to exceed US$100 billion (US$1=RM4.15) by 2025 with an average growth rate of between 25 and 35% per annum for the next five to 10 years.
According to a Google-Temasek study done in 2019, the e-commerce market in ASEAN is expected to be the fastest-growing e-commerce market in the world.