DUBAI: Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa has announced that MSC Malaysia will be enhanced and renamed as Malaysia Digital.
He said MSC Malaysia needs to evolve following the rapid shift of socio-economic norms in response to the constant advancements of digital technology.
"Since its introduction in 1996, MSC Malaysia has catalysed and transformed Malaysia into a knowledge-based economy.
"It was created to foster a conducive ecosystem driven by high-end infrastructure development and information and communications technology (ICT) companies’ catchment within the identified corridors,’’ he said in a speech during the opening of the Malaysia Digital Economy Week at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Annuar said MSC Malaysia helped to drive the growth of the country’s digital economy, which currently account for 22.6 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP).
"It was indeed a programme that was never before seen in the world back in 1996 -- a game-changer. In many ways, MSC Malaysia was the original startup at a time when the term ‘startup’ had yet to be coined,’’ he added.
He said the government has identified the digital economy as one of Malaysia’s key economic growth areas to achieve sustainable growth while ensuring shared prosperity through fair and equitable distribution across income groups, ethnicities and regions.
According to the 12th Malaysia Plan, the digital economy is projected to contribute 25.5 per cent to Malaysia’s GDP by 2025.
Additionally, the government -- via the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) -- will continue to drive the digital economy forward towards making Malaysia a globally competitive digital nation and digital hub of ASEAN.
‘’The pandemic has tested us in many forms and restricted our ability to grow.
"However, it has also served as a great boon for the digital economy, paving the way for eCommerce and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) technologies to achieve tremendous growth,’’ he noted.
Annuar said Malaysia has also been riding on the digital wave, building an ecosystem filled with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and Big Data analytics.
Citing the e-Conomy Southeast Asia (SEA) Report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, he said Malaysia saw three million new digital consumers since the start of the pandemic in 2020, and 81 per cent of all internet users are now consumers of digital services.
The report projected Malaysia’s overall internet economy to reach US$21 billion in Gross Merchandise Value in 2021, hitting US$35 billion by 2025.
In September 2021, Malaysia’s eCommerce income stood at RM279 billion, a 17.1 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
Early last year, Malaysia launched the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, or MyDIGITAL, an initiative to steer digital transformation and drive the growth of the digital economy.
It offers a solid framework that will help create 500,000 job opportunities in the digital economy, assist 5,000 start-up companies to begin operations in the next five years and attract RM70 billion worth of new investment in the digital sector.
The National Council of Digital Economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution (MED4IR) had also established the Digital Investment Office (DIO) to facilitate digital investments in Malaysia
Since its inception in April 2021, the DIO has facilitated RM13.1 billion of digital investments in Malaysia, consisting of data centre projects, with another RM57.3 billion digital projects in the pipelines.
Meanwhile, MDEC chief executive officer Mahadhir Aziz said the launch of Malaysia Digital is set to enhance Malaysia's value proposition to attract digital investments through a new framework centred on three primary components, namely agility, flexibility and relevance.
"This campaign will be the fuel to skyrocket the digital economy to new heights, as well as to nurture a progressive, equitable and innovation-led society in with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals," he said.
The Digital Economy Week is part of the 26 weekly thematic trade and businesses programmes organised by the Malaysia Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai.