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MDEC Confident Digital Economy Growth Will Continue

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the lead agency in Malaysia’s digital transformation, welcomed the Ministry of Finance’s (MOF) 2021 first-quarter GDP report which saw better performance than previous quarters with key economic indicators showing improvement.

MDEC reiterated its commitment to strengthening its working relationship with various ministries and agencies especially in the digital economy sector which has shown strong growth in this new norm. It will continue to play an active role in boosting the country’s competitiveness by enhancing digitalisation initiatives and digital skills of the workforce in line with the government’s five key focus areas to drive the nation’s recovery.

This is being implemented through various initiatives to drive digital adoption for micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as to improve the digital skills of the people through public-private partnership programs which include the Premier Digital Technology Institution (PDTI), Industrial Skills Framework (IndSF), Digital Skills Training Directory for working professionals and a data technology collaboration program with technology giants.

These programs were introduced to accelerate the development of digital talents as part of MDEC’s efforts to push Malaysia to make the digital leap into the era of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0). The National Council of Digital Economy and 4IR (MED4IR) chaired by the Prime Minister recently endorsed the formation of the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap (NESR) 2.0 Taskforce following the achievements of NESR 1.0. MDEC has been entrusted to lead the Project Management Office of the NESR 2.0 Taskforce with the mandate to oversee the successful implementation of NESR 2.0.

A total of 639 organisations and individuals were engaged as part of MDEC’s primary market research work in the development of NESR 2.0. carried out in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. This included 196 companies, 18 industry associations, 40 Government Ministries and agencies.

NESR 2.0 will be guided by three overarching objectives, namely; to intensify eCommerce adoption and growth, to enhance ecosystem development and to strengthen policy and regulatory environment.

MDEC notes that Malaysia remains one of the top investment destinations in the region, receiving foreign direct investments (FDI) worth RM81.9 billion in high-quality investments involving technology, innovation, green technology and financial technology sectors. These inflows have enabled more employment opportunities for the local skilled workforce, in line with Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) as outlined by the government.

In this area, MDEC has announced a collaboration with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to facilitate investment efforts related to the digital sector through the establishment of the Digital Investment Office (DIO), a fully digital collaborative platform to coordinate and facilitate all digital investments.

The objective of this endeavour is not only to create awareness of digital investments in the country but to also strengthen the coordination among all Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in promoting and attracting new investments in our nation’s digital economy.

The first-quarter GDP report presented by the Minister of Finance, YB Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz saw the online retail sales index register a growth of 18.3 per cent year-on-year. At the close of 2020, 489,000 MSME adopted eCommerce while 378,000 SME were trained to utilise the eCommerce platform. Companies using eCommerce for export grew exponentially from 1,800 to 27,000. The sector also attracted investment worth RM1.5 billion for the establishment of regional eFullfilment hubs.

MDEC will continue to focus on driving the adoption of digital technologies among SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs and this initiative has clearly shown results as Malaysia is poised to maintain its position as one of the top eCommerce markets in ASEAN, with gross merchandise value (GMV) expected to grow to reach a total value of US $11.4 billion in 2020, a 6% Year-on-Year increase.

In early April 2021, MDEC also rolled out the MyDigitalWorkForce Work In Tech (MYWiT) initiative, a training and hiring incentive programme aimed at boosting the digital business services sector as well as developing quality tech talents in Malaysia. The objective of the initiative is to upskill and subsidize talents and businesses with RM100 million in training and salary incentives. More than 300 companies within these sectors are expected to gain from this program while an estimated 6,000 job opportunities will be created to produce at least 1,000 quality tech talents.

MDEC will continue to lead Malaysia’s digital transformation for equitable digital economy opportunities, driving a globally competitive digital nation in line with the vision of Malaysia 5.0, a nation deeply integrated with technology that empowers inclusivity, sustainability and shared prosperity.

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