MDEC hopes Budget 2021 will support SME digitalisation

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 4): The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) hopes that 2021, to be tabled on Friday, will focus on further boosting the digital economy sector which is currently playing an important role in assisting the country's recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Chief executive officer Surina Shukri said MDEC believes the Finance Ministry (MoF) will continue to MDEC's aspirations to make the country the “Heart of Digital ASEAN”, to the benefit of all Malaysians.

She said MDEC needs continuous support for its three core pillars, namely the digitisation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-up companies; digital talent development to generate revenue; and providing attractive incentives for digital investment, including the local digital creative content sector.

“This year, the MoF and MDEC have worked together to boost the e-commerce sector in the country via two initiatives, namely “Shop Malaysia Online”, an e-commerce initiative introduced under PENJANA (the National Economic Recovery Plan) and e-Commerce Campaign for SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs, where both have achieved sales of more than RM1.2 billion.

“Of course, we hope this collaboration will be strengthened under Budget 2021,” she told Bernama, today.

She said the digitisation efforts of local SMEs and micro SMEs (MSMEs) are very important as the sector is the backbone of the country's economy; representing almost 90% of domestic businesses, generating employment opportunities.

“The government also hopes that local SMEs and MSMEs can make the digital leap and reap the benefits of cross-border trade. Efforts to realise this goal have begun and we want to continue on a larger scale to dominate regional and global markets,” she said.

In terms of talent development, Surina said, MDEC plans to continue with programmes such as the #mydigitalmaker initiative; Digital Talent Development; Global Online Workforce (GLOW); and e-Rezeki which give people the opportunity to generate incomes online.

“This continuous effort will strengthen Malaysia's goal to become a digital investment hub and a stepping stone to enter the Southeast Asian market.

“Currently, various digital-based global business services and data ecosystem platforms have chosen Malaysia as their base for their regional operations, which confirms Malaysia's status as a high-tech regional hub,” she said.

As for the digital investment sector, MDEC hopes that the government will continue to support various digital initiatives that continue to attract digital investment, especially the initiative for the development of digital creative content industry (My Digital Content).

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