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PETALING JAYA: The government sees capturing the digital opportunity as a critical step towards economic recovery efforts as well as means to secure Malaysia’s future economic resilience, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“We are committed to achieving this with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital) initiative which sets its sight on transforming Malaysia into a technologically advanced, digitally-driven nation and a regional digital economy leader by 2030. We aim to create a better, more inclusive digital economy future for every Malaysian,” he said in his opening remarks for the “Grow with Google” virtual event today.

Citing a report “Positioning Malaysia as a Regional Leader in the Digital Economy” by economics consultancy AlphaBeta, Mustapa highlighted that the accelerated growth of digital economy could translate to RM257.2 billion in annual economic value by 2030, equivalent to about 17% of the country’s GDP in 2020.

He elaborated that the growth would bring 500,000 new jobs by 2026 as well as more opportunities for businesses to build and expand their digital revenue streams to increase cost efficiency via cloud technology.

“We aim to see 875,000 SMEs embracing digital e-commerce by 2025, and for our society, we aim to bring 80% of government services online as a digitally enabled government will improve efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.”

The minister conceded that the government cannot do this alone and believes in the importance of the public-private partnership for this digital journey.

“On our part, the government will be a catalyst, creating and facilitating the policy environment so the private sector can bring the necessary capital and skills for digital transformation.”

AlphaBeta found 72% or RM184 billion of opportunities from digital transformation could be driven by technologies that help businesses and workers mitigate the economic impacts of Covid-19. Beyond managing the immediate impacts of the pandemic, it noted that digital transformation will also be important to boost resilience in the post-pandemic future and support Malaysia’s heavily-impacted export sector.

To realise the opportunities presented by digital transformation, the report identified three main pillars of action for Malaysia – facilitate digitalisation in both the public and private sectors, build the nation’s digital talent, and promote digital trade opportunities.

Backed by the fact that Malaysians are spending more time online and intend to continue using digital services in the post-pandemic future, Google Malaysia managing director Marc Woo believes digital adoption is crucial for business.

“This has motivated us at Google to continue offering free workshops and easy-to-use tools to help micro SMEs digitalise and reach more customers online,” he said.

The tech giant has also collaborated with Airasia Academy and Nestle to help people equipped themselves with the necessary skills and it also does so via its own “Mahir Digital Bersama Google” program.

Woo also observed the trend of retailers turning to e-commerce to stay afloat during the various movement control orders imposed in the past 12 months, which have led the industry to grow 87% year-on-year, making e-commerce in Malaysia the fastest growing in Southeast Asia.

AlphaBeta founder and managing director Dr Fraser Thompson pointed out that the report estimated Google’s products bring about a total annual business and consumer benefit of around RM40 billion in economic value, which is equivalent to the annual gross output of Malaysia’s real estate industry.

“By enabling businesses to unlock new revenue streams and expand their businesses through the use of advertising platforms, Google indirectly supports over 31,000 jobs locally.

“Local businesses that have successfully adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 by proactively embracing digital opportunities,” he said.


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