Digital to add above 20% to GDP by 2020
Malaysia’s digital economy is expected to contribute more than 20% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, exceeding the earlier target of 18.2%, set under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood attributed the revised projected growth to players’ efforts, especially content creators. The industry’s current contribution to the GDP is 17.8%.
“I was told that our animation content, which is, among others, full of family value, is unique compared to that of other countries’,” she said last week.
According to Yasmin last year, the local animation industry recorded a remarkable growth of 52% in exports.
“We are proud of our home-grown talents for their achievements in driving Malaysia’s creative content industry. MDEC will continue to create opportunities and develop the capabilities of local talents in order to produce world-class content,” she said.
She added MDEC would utilise part of the proposed RM162mil under the 2017 Budget to help local content creators.
M’sia continues to improve business climate
The new World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report has revealed that Malaysia continued its efforts to improve the business climate for local entrepreneurs.
The report, “Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All”, launched last week, found Malaysia to be one of 17 economies that implemented reforms in East Asia and the Pacific region in the past year.
Country manager of World Bank Group’s Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia, Faris H. Hadad-Zervos, said Malaysia had implemented two business reforms in the past year, including the strengthening of credit reporting by providing consumer credit scores.
“With this change, Malaysia has attained a perfect score in the depth of credit information index of the Doing Business Indicator of Getting Credit,” he said.
According to the report, Malaysia also made it easier to pay taxes by introducing an online system for filing and paying goods and services tax, reducing the number of payments to comply with the taxes to nine for medium-sized company from 13 in the previous year.
Faris said Malaysia continued to be among the top 15 performers globally in dealing with construction permits, which required only 79 days to obtain construction permit versus the global average of 156 days.
“Malaysia also retains its spot this year as the third best economy in the world in terms of protecting minority investors,” he said.
Economic parity between sexes in 170 years
Efforts to close gender gaps in pay and workforce participation slowed so dramatically in the past year that men and women may not reach economic equality for another 170 years, the World Economic Forum said last week.
Statistics just a year ago predicted the economic gap between genders could close in 118 years, but progress has decelerated or reversed globally, the Swiss non-profit WEF said.
“These forecasts are not foregone conclusions. Instead, they reflect the current state of progress and serve as a call to action,” said Saadia Zahidi, a member of the WEF executive committee.
Overall, Iceland and Finland ranked highest among 144 nations measured on progress in equality in education, health and survival, economic opportunity and political empowerment.
Next were Norway and Sweden, followed by Rwanda, which has improved economic participation and income equality and has the highest share of female parliamentarians in the world, the WEF said. At the bottom was Yemen, then Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Around the world, 54% of working-age women on average participate in the formal economy, compared with 81% of men, it said.
Women’s average annual earnings are roughly half those of men, estimated at US$10,778, versus US$19,873, it said.
MDEC collaborates with Google M’sia on YouTube
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is collaborating with Google Malaysia to encourage more content creators to leverage the video-sharing website, YouTube.
Chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said the collaboration would provide tools and training to boost Malaysian content creators’ chances of success.
“MDEC will continue to promote and introduce the latest media platforms to build and unlock the potentials of the new media sector,” she said.
She said with globally recognised and highly sought-after talents, the nation’s creative industry had immense potential in developing animation, video games and visual effects to drive Malaysia as a leading provider of creative digital content.
“Malaysia’s talent pool is growing in both quality and quantity and as the nation’s ICT custodian, MDEC will continue to create opportunities and develop capabilities of local talents to produce world-class content,” she said.
Google Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and New Emerging Markets managing director Sajith Sivanandan said 65% of Malaysians streamed YouTube through mobile devices.
He said Google had launched YouTube Kids on Oct 5 this year to offer popular content from family-friendly channels and playlists.
Last year, the export of Malaysian animation industry grew 52% to RM101mil.
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