November 8, 2018: The ongoing United States-China trade war will lead to a slowdown in the global economy and leave a huge impact on suppliers, said the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Global Chief Economist and Managing Director, Simon Baptist.
Baptist said Malaysia is one of the biggest electrical and electronics component supplier to China and the tariff hikes is expected to affect the sector.
“The only way for Malaysia to standout is by shifting from only producing components to producing final products,” he said in a discussion on the “State of e-Commerce in Southeast Asia and Malaysia”, organised by online shopping platform, Lazada Malaysia here Thursday.
He also said the effect of the trade war on e-commerce would not be so severe, as trade is done online, coupled with rising global consumption and wages.
“With growing demand, last mile delivery has become very important to ensure that items purchased can reach the customer in the time frame that was promised,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lazada Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Christophe Lejeune said the e-commerce giant has pledged to cultivate eight million e-commerce entrepreneurs and small medium enterprises by 2030.
“Lazada is committed to developing local talent and communities, helping today’s sellers to reach an increasing number of mobile consumers and to digitise their businesses through a variety of programmes and tools,” he said.
On implementation of the digital tax, Lejeune said there had not been any directives from the government, and it was still unclear as to how the tax would affect the e-commerce sector.
The proposed tax was announced by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng while presenting the 2019 Budget.
He said that foreign online service providers like entertainment streaming platforms Netflix, Spotify and Steam would be subjected to a service tax effective Jan 1, 2020.