Job creation in digital economy to surpass global average

The Asia-Paci c region as a whole is currently under-performing in the services trade, says ASPC

By D KANYAKUMARI / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

Job creation in Malaysia’s digital economy is expected to surpass the global average by 2025, according to the Asean Service Providers Confederation (ASPC).

ASPC co-convenor Jane Drake- Brockman said at present, the digital economy space — particularly in trading activities of the services and the manufacturing sector in Malaysia — was just under the global average when it comes to employment.

“In the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation context, there are some targets that have been set — they are largely for growth in trade.

“The region as a whole is currently under-performing in the services trade, and the target is set by 2025 to be above global average,” she said at a press conference following the launch of the Asia Pacific Digital Technology Symposium 2017 yesterday.

Based on the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2016, the improvements to the overall digital economy represent a potential annual gross domestic product upside of 0.43% and potential employment creation of 2.7 million jobs worldwide.

Besides that, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp showed that employment within the digital economy space has grown by 5% to 167,044 jobs created in 2016 from the previous year.

Drake-Brockman said the services sector currently accounted for 65% of employment across all economies.

She added that the bulk of new jobs in the Asia-Pacific region has been in the service sector.

“Pretty much in the Asia-Pacific economic region, the bulk of the new jobs are in the digital economy space. And this has been true since the last two decades.

“The digital services are the life-blood of the new economic frontiers, with tremendous opportunities to be unlocked in the near future,” Drake-Brockman said.

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) deputy CEO Datuk N Rajendran further said the growth of the employment rate within the digital economy space will be initiated by continuous investments and robust development of the digital technology.

“In the era of disruption, the government along with all stakeholders need to work together to design strategies and promote comprehensive efforts to facilitate the transition for our economies, and especially in human capital,” he said.

The government allocates RM1.3 billion to spur activities and development within this sector through the digital economy initiatives.

Earlier, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) secretary general Datuk Seri J Jayasiri — speaking on behalf of MITI Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed — said companies also needed to be proactive in coming up with innovative solutions.

“In the goal of developing a digital economy for Malaysia, business leaders have a strong role to play as they will be the direct beneficiaries of the digital transformation happening in the country.

“Companies need to be mindful not to rely solely on the facilities provided by the government, but to also come up with innovative solutions in embarking on this journey.

“The government seeks to work hand-in-hand with businesses towards making effective and relevant policies in charting the way forward,” he said.