By FARA AISYAH
Digital partnerships between Malaysia and the UK have delivered positive results since both countries established an official collaboration last year.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) reports that direct investment from the UK to Malaysia for the technology sector stands at RM269.9 million, with the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) recording RM40 million of tech exports into Malaysia.
“Last year, we saw MDEC entered three memoranda of signing in the areas of cyber security and smart cities, as well as MDEC participation in London Technology Week for two consecutive years,” British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell said yesterday.
To keep the momentum going, DIT launched “Mega Tech Mission” — the largest UK tech mission ever — to visit Malaysia, its partner of choice in the technology sector.
The event is in collaboration with Malaysia’s Global Entrepreneurship Movement.
It will involve 50 British tech companies that are looking for opportunities to collaborate with potential Malaysian business partners.
According to Treadell, since they have managed to achieve encouraging numbers with regard to the UK’s direct investment to Malaysia, the British government expects Mega Tech to produce similar success.
Treadell added that Malaysia will be the starting point to penetrate into the Asia-Pacific market, while the UK will become the first step for Malaysia before entering European countries.
“It is also about creating more jobs and businesses of the future. This is where we gather people who have the vision and disruptive technologies and will be able to transform our economy in a way we cannot imagine now,” she added.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah reiterated the need to embrace the ever growing digital technology.
“We need to work with corporations, companies and young entrepreneurs because the technology is only going to move forward. The current digital economy contribution to the gross domestic product is 17.8%, and we target the contribution to achieve 20% in 2020,” he said.
Looking at current rapid changes in this industry, Mohd Irwan believes the contribution can be greater than the target in three years.
“For the UK tech companies, we welcome you to look at Malaysia as the most strategic base in Asia given our commitment to position digital economy as a key to Malaysia’s transformation towards TN50 (the 2050 National Transformation).”
Mega Tech will be held for two days in October where the invite-only gathering is designed to bring together techpreneurs, start-/scale-ups and established businesses with a focus on financial technology, big data analytics, smart cities, e-commerce, Internet of Things, cloud and data storage, as well as cyber security.