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Malaysia Looking to Be a High-tech Country by 2030

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) is optimistic about implementing and ensuring the success of the policies and initiatives outlined to turn Malaysia into a high-technology country by 2030.

The Minister of MOSTI stated recently that the agency welcomed the announcement by the nation’s Prime Minister at the opening of Invest Malaysia 2021 recently on making Malaysia a high-technology country by 2030, targeting the creation of an ecosystem in the economy that is driven by science, technology and innovation. This will facilitate local technology development by creating economic opportunities and talents or workforce in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and blockchain technology.

The target announced by the Prime Minister aligns with the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (DSTIN) 2021-2030. A rapid growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) from RM204 billion in 1991 to RM1.34 trillion in 2020 was recorded; this is the result of the successful implementation of the country’s various policies, the Minister said. He added that these include DSTIN 2021-2030 which targets economic development and improving the quality of life and the people’s well-being towards achieving the status of a high-technology country by 2030.

Strengthening of the science, technology and innovation ecosystem includes research and development (R&D) becoming a main focus of DSTIN towards reaching the targeted ratio of 2.5% of the gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) of the GDP by 2025, and 3.5% by 2030. The efforts were supported by aligning the country’s R&D priority areas with the focus on experimental research, besides MOSTI’s initiatives through its agencies including the Technology Commercialisation Accelerator and Malaysia Science Endowment to drive the development and local technology application efforts among the industry players and in helping the country face the fourth industrial revolution.

The Minister also noted that the agency is developing 17 technology roadmaps including those on artificial intelligence, blockchain, electrical and electronics, advanced materials, robotics and vaccines. These roadmaps are in line with the 10 science and technology drivers and 10 socioeconomic drivers, as contained in the 10-10 Malaysia science, technology and innovation and economic frameworks (10-10 MySTIE).

Among MOSTI’s targets was making Malaysia a vaccine producer, generating RM600 billion in potential trade returns in the electric and electronics sector by 2025, contributing significantly to GDP through the identified fields, and creating job opportunities in the various fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and 5,000 startups by 2025.

The Minister noted that through the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), MOSTI targeted 500 products or solutions to be commercialised through the National Technology and Innovation Sandbox and Malaysia Commercialisation Year to increase the country’s revenue.

From 2016 to 2020, RM402 million in sales was recorded from 386 commercialised R&D products. The commercialisation activities will also be intensified under the government’s Intellectual Property and Inventions Commercialisation Policy 2021-2025.

The focus will also be on empowering and acculturating talent in science, technology and innovation (STI) and developing experimental research to ensure talents and experts were produced to achieve the targeted ratio of 130 talents and experts for every 10,000 workers by 2025.

MOSTI was committed to supporting the start-up ecosystem holistically and sustainably through the Malaysia Startup Ecosystem Roadmap (SUPER) 2021-2030, whereby Malaysia’s early stage start-up influencer had been given the mandate as the sole agency to manage the start-up ecosystem development from the beginning to the growth stage.

This is towards raising the local start-up competitiveness at the international level and supporting their businesses with the target of having five companies with unicorn status by 2025, the Minister noted. Currently, the investment firm is also developing the MyStartup platform, aimed at coordinating and offering complete and inclusive services to start-ups.

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