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[ 29-02-2016 ]
Selangor to reward e-merchants

The Selangor state government initiates its inaugural Malaysia Top-Ecommerce Merchant Awards to boost online trade. MEK ZHIN reports.

IN an effort to support the fast growing e-commerce segment in Selangor, the Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (Sitec) is organising its inaugural Malaysia Top E-Commerce Merchant Awards.

Among its objectives is to build the spirit of competition and to foster quality service among merchants.

The most successful, creative and innovative home-grown e-commerce merchants will be recognised, and the awards come with cash prizes, co-working spaces in the Selangor Digital Creative Centre for a year and mentorship with industry experts.

Selangor Investment Committee chairman for Industry and Commerce, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Transportation Datuk Teng Chang Khim says Sitec is the result of the state government’s new vision to make Selangor into a global trading hub.

“One key point that supports this is the fact that a 10-hour flight range from KLIA, which is within Selangor, will enable businesses to reach some 3.7 billion people which is more than half the world’s population. Among the states of Malaysia, Selangor also has the best infrastructure, second largest sea port in Asean as well as logistic network and services. We want to leverage on these,” he says.

To be eligible to compete for the award, merchants must, among other things have an actual e-store in operation before 2016 selling products to end-users, have achieved at least 200 transactions or over RM50,000 in sales volume in any single month throughout last year from transactions and sales across multiple online platforms.

The online merchants must also be an SME registered under Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM), while manufacturing merchants cannot have a sales turnover of above RM50mil and must have fewer than 200 employees. Services and other sector merchants cannot have a sales turnover of above RM20mil and must have fewer than 75 employees.

Sitec’s e-commerce class manager Goh Poon Beng says the award system would be divided into 50% panel judging and 50% public voting.

“Each merchant will be assessed on their product, quality of service, social media activity as well as sales and transaction volume. The submission period is already open and will last until March 17,” he says.

Sitec chief executive Yong Kai Ping says they have been making steady progress in assisting merchants to start selling online.

“Since we were launched in June last year, we have helped 75 out ot the 100 targeted businesses among other things. This year, we have a more ambitious target; that is, to organise four conferences and include more policy-based discussions on how to improve the standard of e-commerce in Malaysia.

“We are also giving our input on the subject of smart city and living that comes under Smart Selangor,” he says.

Meanwhile, Teng says Selangor is still the highest GDP contributor to the country at 22.4%, according to the latest National Statistics Department 2014 report. Kuala Lumpur trails behind at 15.1% and Sarawak at 10.1%.

“A total of 59.5% of the state’s GDP is from the service sector while manufacturing weighs in at 29.5%. After I took over this portfolio, we began to deepen our understanding of the actual economic structure of the state, and we felt that new strategies had to be adopted.

“One of these is developing and boosting e-commerce,” he says.

Teng promises that the state government will continue to support Sitec through sufficient allocation to e-commerce in its state-wide plans for 2016 to 2020.

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