A digital-savvy Pearl of the Orient


GEORGE TOWN: Penang will be a digitally engaged society by 2030, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

“Under the Penang2030 Vision, we hope to build a digitally engaged society.

“The Digital Transformation Master Plan of Penang outlines goals towards a connected, creative and holistic society across four strategic pillars – Economy, Infrastructure, Governance and Community.

“We are wholly committed to supporting the adoption of digital technologies by our SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to ‘Go Digital and Go International’,” he said in his keynote address at the Export Excellence Awards (EEA) 2022 Penang Roadshow.

Chow said the state was also introducing a creative digital district known as CD² @ George Town, which aims to revive the urban core through the fusion of heritage and digitalisation.

He said the district would feature a 5G network infrastructure, enabling businesses and communities in the vicinity to benefit from high-speed Internet.

“In line with the digital transformation plan of Penang, we will also launch the CD² Sandbox to house start-ups, accelerators and incubators in our unique heritage-modern environment.

“Over the next three years, Digital Penang is targeting to attract 50 digital investors to CD² @ George Town with an investment commitment of 2,000 high-income jobs,” he added.

Also present at the event were Star Media Group (SMG) chief executive officer Alex Yeow, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Abrar A. Anwar, and SMG chief revenue officer Lydia Wang.

The event also featured a two-panel discussion titled “Accelerating Trade Through Digital Technologies” and “Women in Exports”.

Digital Penang Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tony Yeoh, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang branch chairman Datuk Lee Teong Li, Pentamaster Corp Bhd executive chairman Chuah Choon Bin and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia medium-enterprise business banking executive director Woon Siew Hoong discussed the unexplored business frontiers provided by digital technologies, the digital revolution megatrends, global trade solutions and business-to-business services for export facilitation, as well as opportunities through business matchmaking platforms.

A token of appreciation: Yeow (second from left) presenting a souvenir to Chow. With them are (from left) Muhd Shahrulmiza, Abrar and Chia during the EEA Penang roadshow in George Town. — KT GOH/The StarA token of appreciation: Yeow (second from left) presenting a souvenir to Chow. With them are (from left) Muhd Shahrulmiza, Abrar and Chia during the EEA Penang roadshow in George Town. — KT GOH/The Star

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia chairman and independent non-executive director Datuk Yvonne Chia, Buma Logistics Sdn Bhd director Christy Bong, Hernan Corporation group chief executive officer Anna Teo and SKB Shutters Corporation executive director Melissa Sin – the second discussion panellists – provided insights on opportunities and support programmes for women exporters, as well as how digital transformation could spur growth.

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) Customised Programme Section Transformation & Digital Trade Division deputy director Muhd Shahrulmiza Zakaria moderated the discussions.

Meanwhile, Yeow said Penang holds an extraordinary place in SMG’s history.

“If you’re familiar with The Star’s story, the first leg of our journey began right here in Penang.

“The Star hit newsstands as a local paper, and within five years, it grew to become a national daily.

“It soon took top position as the number one mainstream English media and eventually led the way to be the first media organisation in Malaysia to venture into the digital sphere.

“Since then, we have evolved, tapping into the endless possibilities and opportunities presented in this digital age to deliver integrated media solutions,” he added.

Abrar said as Malaysia’s first and oldest bank, established in 1875, Standard Chartered had a deep knowledge of local markets and an understanding of the importance of large and mid-corporates in growing the Malaysian economy.

“We are one of the world’s leading trade banks with a presence in more than 59 markets globally and the only international bank present in all 10 Asean countries,” Abrar said.

He added that the bank’s prime focus was to connect Malaysia to the world and the world to Malaysia.

EEA is organised by Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, with PKT Logistics Group as co-sponsor and Matrade as patron.

It is audited by BDO.

For more informa2tion on EEA, visit exportawards.com.my or email eea@thestar.com.my.

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