Malaysia as Asean digital hub reach up to US$1 trillion

GEORGE TOWN: Malaysia has the potential to become a digital hub for Asean as the combined market value in the region is projected to reach up to US$1 trillion (RM4.12 trillion) by 2025.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn Bhd (MDEC) vice-president (investment & industry development) Hew Wee Choong said that there is a huge potential to tap in this area.

Combined with the country’s digitalised ecosystem tailored to boost the start-up presence and to draw in investors, it was only natural for Malaysia to become a hub for the digital economy of Asean.

Currently, Asean has 639 million consumers, about half of ’s population with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion and an average growth of 6%.

The region with its 10 countries combined, is the globe’s fifth largest economy with tremendous potential to grow due to a young and energetic population.

Hew said that Malaysia has placed the country in a position to spread the growth of the digital economy throughout the region.

The country already has 20.9 million smartphone users with a household internet penetration rate of 86% while the digital economy is expected to contribute up to 20% of the nation’s entire GDP by next year.

Hew outlined that Malaysia will boost funding for start ups and reaching out to techpreneurs in the region.

“We will also set up an environment which would allow start-ups to collaborate seamlessly with multinational corporations and with fellow service providers,” he said after attending a technology assessment seminar titled “Keysight World”.

The Keysight World seminar was organised by the US-based Keysight Technologies, whose production in Penang provides the leadership for its global supply chain.

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According to him, Malaysia will also bring in the necessary technology applications to help start-ups grow their ventures.

In addition, MDEC will liaise with venture capitalists and new age investors to consider setting up more funds for the Asean digital ecosystem.

Keysight Technologies president Datuk Gooi Soon Chai said that 40% of future capital investments for the Internet of Things (IoT) would be in Asia.

He said that Keysight is already involved in the processes of IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data with one example being the firm’s research in autonomous vehicles, which may come to fruition by the middle of this new millennium.

In light of the progress made in the electronics and electrical market, Gooi said that Keysight has also doubled its research grant from US$300 million to US$600 million to be invested in Penang.

With the bigger investment, Penang is set to play a big part in the age of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 hence it is important for both the public and private sectors to be ready for the digitalisation of the state and the region, said Gooi.

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