CYBERJAYA, Malaysia, June 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the Government agency mandated to lead the nation’s digital economy forward, recently welcomes PENJANA (The Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan)’s strong emphasis on accelerating the growth of the digital economy through carefully targeted measures.
The digital economy has been playing an increasingly significant role during this pandemic and the tough times have called for ‘swift action’ to adopt the announced measures.
Boosting the Digital Adoption
The allocations within PENJANA that will spur the digital economy and increase confidence to leap from the Restart phase marked by the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), through the Recovery phase or Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
SMEs and MSMEs: RM 700 million was allocated for the digitalisation of SMEs and MSMEs; the Government is assisting by incentivising SMEs and mid-tier companies to digitalise their operations and trade channels while continuing to provide grants and loans under the RM100 million SME Digitalisation Matching Grant, RM500 million SME Technology Transformation Fund (application to open next month) and RM100 million Smart Automation Grant initiatives. MDEC looks forward to the streamlining of various previously announced efforts in aid of SMEs, in the wake of PENJANA.
Back in February 2020 for instance, Bank Simpanan Nasional was tasked by the Ministry of Finance, to lead the strategic cooperation with SME Bank and MDEC to channel SME Digitalisation Matching Grants worth of RM500 million over a five-year period, to benefit 100,000 SMEs.
Digitalisation is still considered new and therefore many programmes are still at the initial stage. MDEC will be working with relevant agencies to identify ways to track and measure in making sure over 907,065 SMEs in Malaysia benefit from these incentives.
As of to date, MDEC’s SME digitalisation initiatives have onboarded a total of 230 Technology Solution Providers (TSP) with 595 digital and technology solutions to support over 200 SMEs. Meanwhile, under the MDEC’s 100 Go Digital programme, MDEC has engaged more than 100,000 SMEs nationwide with the support of 12 industry partners.
Digital Creative Content Industry: MDEC will also be collaborating with MyCreative Ventures and the rest of the industry partners to plan for a post COVID-19 recovery programme and to spur the growth of the creative content industry, especially through programmes and soft loans. The loans will support arts, culture, entertainment, creative and events with an allocation of RM225 million as the majority of the sector’s activities were forced to stop to operate ever since March 18. To spur the Digital Creative Content industry, MDEC has been allocated with RM35 million and this will be announced soon once the details have been finalised.
Reskilling and Upskilling: RM25 million allocated to MDEC will go to the Global Online Workforce (GLOW) programme with the aim of training Malaysians to earn an income as freelancers for jobs in the global digital economy. GLOW is a sub-programme under the MDEC’s eRezeki programme which provides training, coaching and mentoring to individuals with skills in certain areas such as programming, creative design, business and administrative support, and language-based tasks such as translation and transcription that enables individuals to generate high income digitally. For 2019, a total of 10,043 GLOW participants have managed to generate income of RM 69.26 million by performing services mainly to international clients. MDEC’s crowdsourcing efforts through eRezeki and GLOW programmes had achieved successful results by raising the standard of income of the B40 and M40 groups. MDEC will also continue to support other government agencies following the allocation of RM2 billion for reskilling and upskilling programmes, for youth and unemployed workers, as this is expected to benefit over 200,000 people in the country.
The cherry on top will be the indirect injections by PENJANA which will empower the Shop Malaysia Online campaign. MDEC’s e-commerce team is still in the discussion stage with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in finalising the execution of the plan for the incentives. The campaign is to encourage online shopping by offering promotional codes and various discount vouchers through e-commerce platforms. MDEC is expecting a 20% growth in ecommerce contribution to the digital economy this year despite the enforced movement control order to contain the spread of COVID-19. The projected growth could be achieved through the active intervention of various ecosystem partners via ongoing initiatives and MDEC potentially see the expected contribution to GDP to go up to as high as RM170bil for 2020.
The Leap: Restart to Recovery
Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC, said, “In the midst of the world pivoting to digital as a result of lockdowns, safe distancing and working from home, MDEC has continued its work to support the Rakyat, businesses and build investors’ confidence by making sure the nation embraces digital adoption and innovation.”
“In fact, MDEC’s #DigitalVsCovid campaign was introduced in March and its suite of offerings presented SMEs with recovery options and new opportunities in the digital space. This was an immediate innovation by the MDEC team and I am very proud that it has inspired a more inclusive digital ecosystem.”
“To the people, businesses and communities that are looking forward to further support within the digital space, I encourage you to step up and take this opportunity, regardless of your background and nature of the business to be part of this digital ecosystem as the nation recovers from this pandemic. PENJANA is that much-needed boost to restore incomes, lifestyles and provides assistance for us to overcome the current challenges and look firmly to the future,” said Surina.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is a government agency under the purview of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, entrusted to lead Malaysia’s digital economy forward. Incorporated in 1996 as the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) to oversee the implementation of the MSC Malaysia initiative, MDEC’s primary mandate today is to accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy by empowering digitally-skilled Malaysians, driving digitally-powered businesses and attracting digital investments.
MDEC is focused on creating inclusive, high-quality growth through nationwide digitalisation initiatives that are in line with the Government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, and firmly establishing Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.
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