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MDEC Announces New Digital Strategy for Malaysia

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) announced its ‘Digital Investments Future5 (DIF5) Strategy’, a five-year plan focusing on five key thrusts aimed at attracting investments and advancing Malaysia’s digital economy in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint or MyDIGITAL.

The five-year initiative, which will run from 2021 to 2025 following the 12th Malaysia Plan, aims to secure high-quality digital investments as it seeks to unlock new drivers of growth in the digital economy. Cumulatively, MDEC has brought in RM345 billion worth of investments via MSC Malaysia since 1996, creating 184,396 jobs, and housing 40 of the Forbes100 companies in Malaysia.

The DIF5 strategy targets the below by 2025:

  • RM50 billion investments in the digital economy
  • Focus on 5 key industry sectors, 5 focus technologies, 5 emerging technologies and digital global business services
  • Attract 50 Fortune500 tech companies to land and expand in Malaysia
  • Establishment of 5 Unicorns
  • Creation of 50,000 high-value jobs in the MSC

The five industry sectors that have been identified as key drivers are; AgTech, HealthTech, Islamic Digital Economy and FinTech, CleanTech and EduTech. These industries are based on the strategic national industries for digitalisation and have also been mapped to the national priority sectors.

The digitalisation of these industries will have a high impact on investment, jobs and contribution to GDP. More importantly, the size and potential of these sectors would also draw large global companies, where Malaysia could benefit from international partnerships with local companies and the resulting technology and knowledge transfer.

Attracting and driving investments in five focus technologies are important to facilitate the growth of these sectors, namely; Cloud Computing, Data Center, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Digital Content Tools.

The DIF5 Strategy will also be focusing on five key emerging technologies to drive innovation and ensure Malaysia will be at the forefront of the rapid evolution of digital technologies and the development of a future-ready digital economy. These technologies are; Blockchain, DroneTech, Edge Computing, Extended Reality and Advanced Robotics.

These will increase the economic complexity of the nation and help develop new and existing economic clusters which in turn creates high-value job opportunities and extend domestic economic linkages. This is in line with Malaysia’s National Investment Aspirations (NIA).

Furthermore, these technologies are potentially game-changers for the future and tie in with the MDEC’s soon to be launched Global Testbed Initiative, allowing Malaysia to offer itself as a testbed for up-and-coming technology investments and foster collaborations with Institutes of Higher Learning and Think-Tanks to develop the nation’s local intellectual property and talent pool in future technologies.

MDEC will also be increasing efforts to grow the Digital Global Business Services, encouraging the use of robotic process automation and data analytics as well as Knowledge Engineering. More Center of Expertise (CoE) will be established to enable the workforce to move up the value chain to form the next generation of tech talents to fuel the next evolution of customer experience and employee efficiencies in the digital economy.

The digital economy is expected to continue its significant contribution to the country in 2021 based on an estimated 20% contribution to GDP in 2020 by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, on the back of a 6.7% economic growth forecast this year by the World Bank.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), announced recently by the Prime Minister also projects a 22.6% contribution to GDP by 2025, targeting RM70billion investments and opening up 500,000 jobs within the digital economy.

It was noted that from its diversified multi-lingual and digitally-skilled talent pool; ready infrastructure and mature ecosystem for the digital economy to thrive, MDEC’s DIF5 Strategy will lead Malaysia to become a globally competitive digital nation, anchored on inclusivity, sustainability and shared prosperity, firmly establishing Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.


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