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Focus on digitalisation enables Malaysia to leap into digital economy post COVID-19 PIKOM

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) believes that the focus on digitalisation and automation would enable Malaysia have a good standing in the post COVID-19 recovery phase.

Hence, the association lauded the government's focus on digital economy under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) unveiled today.

PIKOM chairman Danny Lee said the allocation of RM700 million to drive digitalisation of businesses and innovation and smart automation funds of RM100 million will be a shot in the arm needed to provide the leap for Malaysia into the digital economy.

"In addition, to encourage micro enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) use digital services, the government together with the private sector will finance this effort.

"The importance of the digital economy is very much central to the economic recovery efforts. This will greatly benefit the tech industry," he said in a statement.

Lee said the sector would further be fuelled by the RM140 million matching grants and the RM70 million Shop Malaysia Online allocation for e-commerce.

Micro enterprises and SMEs in Malaysia will be well positioned for the digital revolution, he added.

He said the venture investment and risk capital needs of start-ups and growth-stage companies also received the attention of the government with the setting up of the Dana PENJANA Nasional.

"In addition, PIKOM, through its Future Digital think tank, has been calling for the setting up of a technology sandbox. The announcement is indeed timely.

"The pivot towards a digital strategy is also evident with the delivery of government service, a Buy Malaysia campaign anchored on digital platform and the matching allocation of RM50 for e-wallets.

"This will provide a catalytic effect on the digital economy." he added.

Lee said the economic recovery could only be sustained if Malaysians continue to be employed and the extension of the Wage Support Scheme and Hiring and Training Assistance accorded to businesses were greatly appreciated.

This is complemented by the reskilling and upskilling programmes, including the Place-and-Train funding.

"The technology sector is prepared to work closely with the government to place unemployed graduates and retrenched workers into a training programme that will equip them for employment in our sector," Lee noted.

-- BERNAMA