Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the sector currently contributed 56 per cent of the national GDP.
This, he said, was lower than its initial target of 60 per cent by year 2020.
“We experienced some shortfalls and we hope to reach 60 per cent in about three years.
“The service sector is the dominant sector compared to other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, construction and mining.
“The wholesale and retail sector contributes about 16 per cent of the GDP, compared to only about 10 per cent decades ago. This is in fact an indicator that the country is progressing since its economy is developing well.”
He said after attending the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s Preliminary Report Wholesale and Retail Trade Census 2019 (WRC 2019) launch today.
Uzir said the number of enterprises in the wholesale and retail sector in 2018 reached 468,930, up 4.8 per cent from 370, 725 in 2013.
Of this, 69.8 per cent are dominated by retail trade.
The sector, he said, generated a total revenue of RM1,321.7 billion, with an annual growth rate of 8.2 per cent as compared to RM893.2 billion in 2013.
Wholesale trade generated the highest revenue of RM672.4 billion (50.9 per cent), followed by retail trade (RM494.9 billion; 37.4 per cent) and motor vehicles (RM154.4 billion; 11. 7 per cent).
The sector employs two million people with a total revenue of RM62.8 billion, with an annual growth rate of 3.3 per cent and wages paid grew by 10 per cent from 1.7 million workers in 2013 (RM39 billion).
The value of fixed assets owned in 2018 amounted to RM134.9 billion as compared to RM80.6 billion in 2013 registering an annual growth rate of 10.8 per cent.
“Selangor continued to dominate by having the highest number of establishments at 94,857, and increase by 6.9 per cent as compared to 2013. This is followed by Kuala Lumpur (71,433) and Johor (46,530).
“In terms of total revenue, Kuala Lumpur recorded the highest value amounting to RM391.6 billion (29.6 per cent), followed by Selangor (RM371. 7 billion; 28.1 per cent), and Johor (RM101. 1 billion; 7. 6 per cent).”
Uzir said the adoption of ICT in the sector also shows that Malaysia is moving towards becoming a developed nation.
“The percentage of Internet usage among the establishments jumped to 83.4 per cent (391,143) in 2018 from 72.2 per cent in 2013.
“While computer usage increased from 85.5 per cent in 2013 to 89.6 per cent (420,380 establishments) and web presence increased to 52.1 per cent (244,540 establishments) from 40.7 per cent in 2013.”
The census is conducted every five years and this was the eighth on the sector.
Uzir said the report can be used to measure competitiveness of industry players in the sector in doing business in Malaysia.
“In addition, it will assist the government in formulating relevant policies in line with the 2030 Shared Prosperity Vision.”