Budget 2014: Rakuten's Response
25th October 2013
Malaysia’s Budget 2014 announced a number of planned initiatives and actions, which align with Rakuten’s commitment to growing the e-commerce landscape in Malaysia. We believe that the key measures presented by the Prime Minister will bring further growth to Malaysia’s economy and allow the country to move towards the goal of becoming a high-income and developed nation.
Rakuten applauds the government’s implementation of the second phase of the High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) project under the National Broadband Initiative to expand coverage in major towns, through collaborations with the private sector, involving RM1.8billion worth of investment. This is expected to provide more coverage in urban areas, benefiting 2.8 million households, and increasing Internet speed to 10 Mbps.
This is definitely a boon to the e-commerce industry in Malaysia, as it will encourage and enable more people to have seamless access to the Internet. In turn, this will drive greater value creations from the increased connections, capitalising on e-commerce as an enabler while allowing the sector to thrive and grow, through its widespread reach across the country.
Additionally, we also welcome the government’s allocation of RM120 million for an integrated package to increase innovation and productivity of SMEs. SMEs account for 97.3% of total registered businesses, and their contribution is key to Malaysia’s GDP. Rakuten is committed to supporting these SMEs and helping them to build their e-commerce businesses in Malaysia.
Budget 2014 has the potential to encourage e-commerce as an engine to drive an improved economy and the initiatives announced are certainly a good start. Robust nationwide internet access and strong support for the business community, combined with positive developments around mobile shopping, social shopping and e-wallet, will continue to make Malaysia a vibrant and profitable market for e-commerce.