Malaysia initiatives set to boost digital economy

Malaysia initiatives set to boost digital economy

The Malaysian government is to launch two new initiatives to help grow the country’s digital economy and make Malaysia more attractive to foreign investors.

The DE Rantau programme is designed to establish Malaysia as the preferred Digital Nomad Hub – hotspots used by location-independent workers – in a bid to boost digital adoption and to promote digital professional mobility and tourism across the country.

And the Malaysia Digital Trade programme aims to drive interoperability and greater harmonisation of standards and regulatory approaches, to facilitate trade within and across borders.

Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said: “The Digital Nomad Hub is a departure from the location-based approach.”

He said in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), the revamped and enhanced Malaysia Digital will be key towards achieving the goals set forth by the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), which targets RM70 billion ($17 billion) in investments by 2025.

He added: “Following the earlier announcement (on Malaysia Digital), there are several other steps that we need to take including to detail the transformation we are doing from MSC Malaysia to Malaysia Digital.

“The KKMM will prepare a Cabinet paper on this soon and we expect the launch to be held in the second half of this year.”

He minister said the government had not set any specific timeline for the implementation of Malaysia Digital, but the emphasis would be given to the implementation of policies to develop the country’s digital economy.

Annuar was speaking at Malaysia Digital Economy Week, which took place as part of Expo 2020 Dubai.

On the Digital Trade programme, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer Mahadhir Aziz said the main objective of the programme is to support cross-border trading.

He said: “We have to look at cross-border trust in data that we are sharing as well. In Malaysia, and as part of Malaysia Digital, we will begin with a national e-invoicing project.

“This has been stated in the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), whereby we will look at reducing and minimising leakage of income and revenue for the government while we do trades,” he said.

He said that according to data from MDEC and Inland Revenue Board (IRB), the government will have at least an estimated RM2.1 billion possible additional revenue once e-invoicing is in place, which will take three to six years depending on other countries.

MDEC’s target was to attract investment worth more than RM300 million, as well as 50 eligible prospective businesses, during the Malaysia Digital Economy Week, which ran from January 9 to 15.