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Malaysia and partners work to boost digital economy agenda

According to a recent report, Malaysia’s efforts at developing its digital economy agenda received a boost with the participation of 30 officials from 19 Ministries and agencies from the New Economy Workshop organised by the business school of one of the biggest e-commerce firms in the world.

The participating officials were all involved in driving Malaysia’s digital economy agenda and e-commerce policymaking.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry released a joint statement wherein they stated that the workshop was aimed at empowering participants by increasing knowledge and understanding on the key elements for the development of Malaysia’s digital economy.

Participants are expected to become trainers in their Ministries and agencies, which in return, enhances the human capital development in the area of the digital economy.

Ultimately, well-trained officials will strengthen the joint-Ministries’ efforts at implementing the National E-Commerce Strategic Roadmap, 2016-2020, and towards achieving greater economic growth and societal well-being in Malaysia.

This is imperative, another report notes.

Malaysia transitioning to a digital economy will likely create tectonic shifts in the structure of production and employment. Assembly-type operations no longer have appeal as their value creation is low compared to that of technology development that advanced countries excel.

Thus, reform is needed to ramp up economic growth so that the economy continues to be resilient in the future, and the road seems promising for Malaysia.

The region’s 4.7 per cent growth rate surpasses that of other developed countries in this region including South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Singapore. It even surpasses the growth rates of the US and the Eurozone. Inflation is low, debt is modest, and the nation is running at full employment.

Malaysia has found new ways to generate greater revenue.

The article has urged that the vision for Malaysia’s new economy must bold and audacious. Second, the government must strive for a comprehensive long-term reform agenda replete with strategic result areas and KPIs.

Third, the government has been urged to extricate itself from being in business; a restructuring which should restore the private sector’s rightful role as the engine of growth.

Fourth, business-related regulations should be reduced, helping Malaysian better perform in the criterion of Starting a Business. This means reducing the procedural bureaucracy involved in registering a new business in Malaysia.

Finally, a Harvard professor argued that there needs to be a place for low-skilled workers in a digital economy; i.e., the focus should be on reskilling the displaced workers so that there is a better fit between skills and job requirements. Similar better matches too will enhance the nation’s capabilities.

Another way to do this is to ensure the development of low-end manufacturing, agriculture and services. Jobs in these sectors will be able to absorb low-skilled labour. This is not only socially ethical but also politically expedient.

Economic reform is imperative. Countries that are complacent will lose out in competitiveness in a rapidly-changing world. Malaysia cannot afford to suffer a similar fate.

Thus, it is encouraging to see governmental agencies working to grow and enhance the knowledge and understanding of key elements for developing Malaysia’s digital economy.

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