Investors bullish on Malaysia’s digital economy, says MDEC

By SHAZNI ONG / Graphic By ANIS SHAMSUL

INTERNATIONAL investors and established digital economy ecosystem builders remain bullish and committed in their investments towards Malaysia’s digital economy, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) said.

This comes as the government forges ahead with its initiatives to establish the country as the tech and digital hub in Asean.

MDEC said this as the Malaysia Tech Week 2019 (MTW19), the launch event of its #SeriouslyDigital month, registered strong interest from international and regional tech and digital companies.

“The MTW19 attracted RM30 million investment inflows, demonstrating strong confidence by established ventures and investments that Malaysia is firmly on track to becoming the preferred hub of Asean’s digital economy,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

Over 2,000 participants which included Malaysian corporations, ecosystem partners, tech start-ups, international investors, regulators and government officers were in Kuala Lumpur to share experiences, explore investment opportunities and discuss new modalities of public-private partnerships.

The MTW19 was held alongside the MyFintechWeek 2019, which was organised by Bank Negara Malaysia.

On catalysing growth in the Islamic digital economy, MDEC said Ficus Venture Capital (VC) Sdn Bhd has announced a US$6 million (RM24.84 million) allocation to Islamic tech start-ups in Asean, with Malaysia chosen as the distribution hub for the fund dispersal.

“This includes US$2.5 million which was committed to start-ups during the MTW19. (Moreover), China-based VC fund Gobi Partners announced a US$1 million award to IslamicMarkets.com, a platform that unlocks Islamic investment and business opportunities,” MDEC said.

Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said Malaysia has dedicated its efforts to transform digitally to create a vibrant and world-class digital economy over the past two decades.

“We have long been a hub for traders, with the Straits of Melaka being favoured as a major route connecting Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

“Malaysia today has evolved to being a hub of highly skilled talent, thriving within a vibrant business ecosystem founded on world-class infrastructure.

“Malaysia continues to offer limitless opportunities for anyone who has a vision for the future and a passion to make it happen,” he said.

Gobind said Malaysia has gone “seriously digital”, adding that the Multimedia Super Corridor’s (MSC) cumulative total investment has reached US$79 billion, with export sales worth US$39.74 billion creating a total of over 180,000 jobs.

“Over 4,000 companies have been awarded with the MSC Malaysia status — 74% of these companies are Malaysian-owned, while 26% of them are foreign-owned, including 180 multi- national companies.

“I am also delighted that Malaysia has been ranked second in the Ease of Doing Business within Asean Countries World Bank Report, second in the Global Competitiveness World Economic Forum Report and 10th in the Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, among others,” he said.

MDEC CEO Surina Shukri said the #SeriouslyDigital month and the MTW19 saw strong support from the Malaysian tech ecosystem which came together to showcase what the country’s digital economy offers the world.

“The range of programmes that MDEC curated through the MTW19 highlights the frontier technology and thinking in our ecosystem that places us firmly as the investment and innovation destination for all things tech and digital in Asean. I look forward to further successes with Wild Digital which will take place from today,” she said.

MDEC’s #SeriouslyDigital month-long celebration will also showcase the start-up conference Wild Digital today and tomorrow, as well as the Beyond Paradigm summit happening on July 17 and 18.

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