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New Programme to Grow Malaysia’s Digital Economy

Image Credits: MDEC, Press Release

The Minister of Communications and Multimedia recently launched DE Rantau, a programme aimed at establishing Malaysia as the preferred digital nomad hub to boost digital adoption and promote digital professional mobility and tourism across Malaysia.

The programme is intended to benefit both local talents and foreign nomads. Apart from the introduction of the DE Rantau Nomad Pass, which will support the facilitation of foreign digital nomads’ stay in Malaysia for a period of 12 months, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (K-KOMM) through Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) will create a vibrant ecosystem that can support the digital nomad lifestyle to be able to regain the balance in working and living.

The Minister noted that aligned with Malaysia Digital (MD), the DE Rantau programme will help solidify Malaysia’s path to becoming the preferred digital nomad hub of the ASEAN region. Despite facing close competition with its neighbours, Malaysia has all the right ingredients to be the most attractive choice for digital nomads.

The country has a robust infrastructure, affordable cost of living, cultural diversity, a multilingual population, delicious cuisines, and many more offerings to strengthen our position. He added that while the digital nomad lifestyle is nothing new, it is the pandemic that accelerated the trend of more people choosing to embrace a location-independent, tech-enabled lifestyle, allowing them to work and live wherever their hearts desire.

Driving this initiative, MDEC will oversee the development of digital nomad hubs and comprehensive local ecosystems suitable for the digital nomad lifestyle. This will be done in collaboration with various industry players as well as the onboarding of digital nomads via outreach and awareness programmes and visa facilitation of DE Rantau Nomad Pass.

Through DE Rantau Hubs and a thriving ecosystem, there can be knowledge and experience sharing among local and foreign nomads, leading to the creation of a vibrant and knowledgeable local community and businesses. The programme is expected to inject a total of RM4.8 billion into the local economy by the year 2025. Additionally, in its first phase, the identified digital nomad hubs will include Penang, Langkawi, Kedah, and Kuala Lumpur.

Under the Malaysia Digital (MD) initiative, DE Rantau is one of the first two Malaysia Digital Catalytic Programmes (PEMANGKIN) planned for 2022. It is designed to create substantial economic spillover through equitable access to digital tools, knowledge, and income opportunities. Applications for DE Rantau Nomad Pass will be open on 1 October 2022.

In July 2022, the Malaysian Prime Minister launched Malaysia Digital, an initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of the nation’s digital economy for the benefit of Keluarga Malaysia. Driven by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM) through Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia Digital is a national strategic initiative by the Government to encourage and attract companies, talents and investment while enabling Malaysian businesses and the Rakyat to play a leading part in the global digital economy.​

Malaysia Digital is the initiative to succeed MSC Malaysia, which has served to transform Malaysia into a knowledge-based economy since 1996. With a new and enhanced framework, the new initiative seeks to enhance the nation’s digital capabilities and boost the digital economy.

Malaysia Digital will allow Malaysia to better prepare for today’s ever-evolving landscape and build the bedrock of a digital nation, ultimately benefitting the Rakyat, businesses, Government, and nation. To achieve this vision, the role of the industry is equally important for an impactful implementation of the Malaysia Digital initiative.

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