Malaysia has already built a strong foundation it can use to accelerate the development of a digital economy in Southeast Asia. The country ranks as the 24th easiest economy to do business in, putting Malaysia second only to Singapore in Southeast Asia and fifth in Asia-Pacific. The improvement of Malaysia’s overall distance to frontier (DTF) by 0.96 to 78.43 in 2017 from 77.47 in 2016, which refers to the best-performing country across the world proves that Malaysia is on track to becoming a developed country on the back of the resilient economy.
Solid Information and Communications Technology (ICT) application and adoption base as well as its exertion to streamline Science and Technology (S&T) initiatives, coupled with using the digital economy as the driver for further economic prosper. Under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), ICT and S&T are included as part of the country’s five-year plan that will run from 2015 – 2020.
Upholding the spirit of the digitalised economy as announced by the Prime Minister back in 2017, Malaysia’s GDP is expected to enjoy over £56bn revenue from the digital economy industry alone by the year 2020. Strong government agencies involvement such as the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MiGHT) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) help to carve out a strategic framework in addressing the country’s aspiration in the digital economy.
The Malaysian government is also making it easy for businesses in the country to shift to a digital economy by supporting them in three main thrusts; infrastructure, incentives and talent.
Development of DIT and MDEC Strong Technology Partnership
In 2015, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) was about to drop the UK as a priority market for technology in favour of Japan. Working collaboratively with the Technology Team at HQ, the Malaysia Technology Team proactively developed and successfully delivered a strategy to retain priority status, at the same time also achieving priority status for what previously had been an emerging sector.
This was followed up with an imaginative, integrated campaign, which generated our first technology export wins and a robust, validated pipeline of projects. Highlights include:
June – MoU signed with MDEC, witnessed by our Trade Envoy. Immediately followed by a visit to the UK by MDEC (led by Malaysia) taking in the Northern Powerhouse and London Technology Week. The latter included an intensive series of over 40 1-2-1 meetings, drawing on HQ’s innovative Company Support Programme.
September – webinar series on opportunities in 5 priority sub-sectors, attracting over 150 attendees; and keynote speaker slots at BIGIT on cyber forensics and Future Fifty Programme, drawing on funding from S&I Team.
November – UK delegation visited KL for an intensive 3-day programme of seminars, pitching sessions and over 80 1-2-1 sessions. Company feedback described this as “the most business-focused ever”.
December – a visit to the UK by MDEC CEO (led by Malaysia Technology Team), including agreements signed with PGI, FCC and Salford University.
The programme attracted significant, positive, media coverage in Malaysia and the UK, including Astro Awani, BBC, Sky News and the Telegraph. In addition, Shuba’s proactive Twitter coverage resulted in DIT Malaysia trending on three separate occasions. As a result, investment from 10 UK companies in Malaysia recorded over £55mn in 2016, while exports from 68 UK companies amounted to £732mn in the same year. To build momentum, HQ and Post jointly developed the UK Mega tech Mission to be delivered in the 2017/18 financial year.
Mega Technology Trade Mission to Malaysia – 9 to 11 October 2017
DIT organised an innovative mega technology trade mission to Malaysia visiting both Kuala Lumpur and Johor State. Led by Liam Maxwell, National Technology Adviser to HM Government, the mission comprised 40 of the UK’s leading technology companies: the largest-ever UK technology delegation to visit Malaysia. Working closely with 17 local strategic partners, DIT hosted over 750 business matching sessions, involving over 150 Malaysian businesses, over three days. Two partnerships between Malaysian and UK businesses were announced during the mission and a further 10 businesses are anticipating export wins within six months.