Petaling Jaya, 19 July 2007
The direct selling industry today rallied to a new purpose and zeal, asserting their commitment to take the industry to greater heights in coming years. This commitment was expressed by the greater participation of more than 400 delegates comprising members, non-members and delegates from World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) and Direct Selling Associations (DSAs) around the Asia Pacific region to the Direct Selling Conference 2007 held at Sime Darby Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
This year, the Conference was launched by Yang Berhormat Datuk Hj. Mohd Shafie Bin Hj Apdal, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. The Honorable Minister also presented a keynote address and unveiled the Conference logo, with the theme “Moving Together With The Nation”.
In his keynote address, he commended that the theme for this Conference has reflected that the direct selling industry is working towards achieving the national vision of 2020. In fact, he added that the direct selling industry has translated economic opportunities for more than 4 million distributors with a sales turnover of US$1.73 billion in 2005. He further applauded that Malaysia was ranked as fourth in Asia Pacific and 11th largest direct selling market in the world based on the statistics compiled by World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA).
Speaking at the Conference, Paul Yee, President of Direct Selling Association of Malaysia (DSAM) said “DSAM’s role today goes beyond promoting the direct selling industry. Being recognized as one of the major players in Malaysia’s economy today, DSAM has to protect the integrity of the industry with a commitment to long term sustainable growth. We continue to take the lead in positioning the industry in a credible manner through a series of consumer education efforts over the last few years. This year’s conference will serve as an avenue for direct sellers to dialogue and update themselves on the current and global trends related to direct selling. The collection of ideas become the basis for us to move together with the nation.”
The event was also graced by Neil H. Offen, Secretary General of WFDSA and he commented that WFDSA has acknowledged that the combined markets of Asia are the largest and fastest growing direct selling market in the world. Neil said “We noted that many Malaysian direct selling companies have successfully penetrated foreign markets. In an age where every economy races to meet varied challenges in the fast changing global marketplace, direct selling is gaining momentum throughout the world as a legitimate and profitable way of doing business. Direct selling provides a powerful engine for growth and prosperity and helps to stabilize the grass roots economies of many countries.”
Through his speech in turn, Yang Berhormat Datuk Hj. Mohd Shafie Bin Hj Apdal Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal congratulated DSAM for its 29 years of fruitful efforts in promoting direct sales business ethics and values in the country. In Malaysia, the Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumers Affairs acknowledged the contribution of direct selling in the country’s economy. A report from the Ministry showed that during the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, the industry saw a year-on-year sales turnover growth of RM600 million, up 19 per cent from 1997 and while the economy was booming in 2005, the industry recorded a sales turnover of RM6.6 billion, up 25 per cent from 2004’s turnover of RM5.3 billion. Based on this figure, Malaysia ranks the 11th largest direct selling market in the world and in the Asia Pacific region, Malaysia ranks the 4th.