Image credit: The Edge Markets

KUALA LUMPUR: E-commerce and food delivery services have grown by US$7 billion (RM29.28 billion) in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2021, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pix).

He said COVID-19 has changed the business landscape and led to rapid digitisation growth, with many entrepreneurs moving onto e-commerce platforms.

“It is clear that the gig economy is becoming increasingly important in our country, whereby most of them are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),“ he said in his speech while officiating the Reboot Now! 2022 conference today.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) reported that e-commerce transactions jumped by RM71.7 billion to RM268 billion in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021) from RM196 billion in Q1 2020.

Food delivery services also expanded by 35 per cent last year, he said.

According to Mustapa, many local companies have successfully adapted digitalisation in their respective businesses to expand their markets, including myBurgerLab, BloomThis, HausBoom, KPJ Healthcare and Les’ Copaque.

“By 2025, at least 90 per cent of more than 800,000 local MSMEs are expected to adopt digitalisation in their business operations,” he said.

To encourage business digitalisation among MSMEs, he said the government has allocated RM200 million under Budget 2022 for the MSMEs Digitalisation Grant scheme to help microentrepreneurs, especially Bumiputera microentrepreneurs.

Mustapa also said that 1,083 Keluarga Malaysia Digital Economy Centres (PEDi) will start operating by the end of this year to support enterprises, especially those in rural areas.

The PEDi will play an important role in helping to increase digital commerce activities, especially in rural areas.

Meanwhile, in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan, MSMEs will focus more on the international market, he said.

“The government will assist high-potential MSMEs to export by providing assistance in the form of advisory services, international market intelligence, Intellectual Property registration as well as brand and product development,“ he added.