Malaysian fashion designers welcome the move by the government in encouraging the purchase of local products via Budget 2021, as well as the initiative to help entrepreneurs in the country move to e-commerce.

“It’s a good move, ” comments Bon Zainal, president of the Bumiputra Designers Association. “The local market is small and we still have to trade abroad, but this is really a good start.”

“I believe only about 60 percent of designers have embraced e-commerce so far this year. For those who have successfully done so, it’s more to sell small items like face masks and T-shirts.”

In the new budget, RM150 million has been allocated to a Shop Malaysia Online programme together with the e-commerce platform. It is expected to benefit 500,000 local sellers.

Another RM150 million will go to a training and equipment aid programme under the E-Commerce SME Campaign, which can help them transition to a digital business. There is also a RM35 million allocation to promote Malaysian-made products and services under the Trade And Investment Mission.

According to the Malaysian Official Designers’ Association (Moda), the local fashion industry can really benefit from such allocations. The help is seen as something the fashion industry in the country requires.

“Especially during this pandemic where footfall at physical shops are low, fashion business owners urgently need the know-how and the capital to digitise their businesses, ” states Mary Anne Low, Moda’s deputy vice president of e-commerce.