MCDC launches Ride Madani initiative, attracts RM100bil in investments

KUALA LUMPUR: Companies from Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries and China will be investing RM100 billion over the next five years in Malaysia to accelerate the country’s digital and green economy transformation through the RCEP Innovation and Digital Ecosystem (Ride) Madani initiative, the Malaysia-China Digital Economy Cooperation Council (MCDC) announced.

The announcement was made today at the Pikom Leadership Summit 2023 (PLS2023), jointly organised by MCDC and the National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom).

MCDC co-chairman Datuk Wei Chuan Beng said that apart from attracting investments, the goal of Ride Madani is to achieve the "Three 100s” initiative, which includes proposing that 100 enterprises jointly initiate the Ride Madani Alliance, investing RM100 billion in Malaysia over the next five years, and nurturing at least 100 young leaders each year.

He said MCDC had already gathered about 20 companies through the initiative and attracted between RM2 and RM3 billion in investments.

"Among them, a collaboration between Kairous Capital and Comcom International to establish the world’s first dual-currency fund (in RM and renminbi), the Malaysia-China Digital and Green Development Fund with a capital of RM1 billion, and a RM600 million investment by RunJian Corporation to establish artificial intelligence (AI) data centre in Malaysia to develop the AI ecosystem in Malaysia and RCEP (countries).

"A few companies such Silk Road Development Fund, Shenzhen Bot Space Time Technology and Leax US were also set to establish their Asian and RCEP headquarters in Malaysia,” he told reporters on the sidelines of PLS2023.

Wei said the strategic partnerships, forged at the heart of Malaysia’s Information and communications technology (ICT) industry, are set to propel the nation’s digital aspirations and environmental sustainability goals.

The Ride Madani initiative was launched at the PLS2023, here today, witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and also present was the Ambassador Extraordinary And Plenipotentiary of China to Malaysia, Ouyang Yujing.

"This is an industry-led initiative supported by the government. This was initiated following Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s recent visit to China. China has well-developed ecosystems in the digital economy. We feel that Malaysia could benefit a lot from the replication of the ecosystem.

"However, with a population of 33 million, the market (in Malaysia) is quite limited. Therefore, the collaboration will not be confined to the Malaysian market but must benefit the whole of Asean and RCEP,” Wei said.

MCDC co-chairman representing China, Dr Lijin Yan, said the Madani concept does not only apply in Malaysia but could also be applied to all RCEP countries, and that means that Malaysia could become the hub of regional as well as the hub to link to the world, particularly the Middle East.

Chinese investments in Malaysia's technology sector is growing

Meanwhile, in his opening speech, Fadillah said that in acknowledging the transformative potential of digital technologies, the Malaysian government is dedicated to nurturing an environment conducive to innovation and creativity.

"Our initiatives in accelerating the digital economy’s growth include MyDigital, which was launched in 2021, and the National Digital Economy Blueprint (NDEB), which delineates our strategy in cultivating a globally competitive digital economy by 2030, the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) as well as the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 (NIMP),” he said.

Fadillah said that Chinese investments in Malaysia’s technology sector have exhibited steady growth over the last few years and notably, in 2022, Chinese investors contributed RM55.4 billion, constituting 55.6 per cent of Malaysia’s total foreign direct investment, which is the largest source.

He noted that the top three technology sectors attracting Chinese investment in 2022 were information and communication (RM11.2 billion), electrical and electronics (RM10.3 billion) and machinery and equipment (RM7.4 billion).

"Malaysia’s strategic location within Southeast Asia is well positioned as a gateway to the expansive Asean market.

"The Asean region, boasting a population exceeding 650 million, presents an extensive consumer base and a diverse technology market. Therefore, strategically establishing a presence in Malaysia enables businesses to harness this vast market and extend their reach across the entire Asean landscape,” he added. - Bernama

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