SMEs Go Digital by 2022

After the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, Malaysia shows rapid growth and signs of recovery. From the initial 4.2% global average forecast, the central bank announced a GDP growth expectation ranging from 6% to 7.5% this year. Because of this, the Malaysian government is set to take advantage of the country’s new economic prosperity by strengthening its digital initiatives.

Government Strategy to Drive Digitalization Forward

The Malaysian government recognises the opportunity to drive economic growth by capitalising on fostering its digital economy.

By leveraging the technological components available like big data, the internet, smartphones, and other technological advancements, Malaysia can enhance overall productivity, improve livelihoods, and spearhead innovation. Now the question is how they’re going to make it happen.

The government plans on using three avenues to develop its digital economy:

  1. They will promote inclusion to the existing firms in order to cater to the underserved markets.
  2. They will lower the cost and increase efficiency to make these firms more competitive.
  3. They will scale economies and encourage innovation by inviting new forms of businesses to participate.

Government Initiatives to Push for Digitalization

As a way to support both old and new businesses on this road to digitalization, the government has launched a series of training programmes and initiatives, which include the following:

  1. MDEC 100 Go Digital Coaching Programme

    MDEC, also known as The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, is the country’s lead agency in this digital movement. On June 3, 2021, they announced their 100 Go Digital Coaching Programme for 2021. Essentially, this programme combines a series of talks and workshops to provide businesses with the valuable and practical knowledge they need to start their digital journey. Additionally, this programme is created to ensure that businesses remain profitable, competitive, and sustainable during the pandemic and after.

  2. MyDIGITAL Initiative

    Launched on February 19, 2021, MyDIGITAL Initiative is a digital transformation plan that aims to empower all Malaysian individuals and enterprises to enhance their lives and operations. Through this initiative, the government plans to generate high-income job opportunities, optimise banking and finance services, provide accessible virtual education, and improve digital literacy.

    Similarly, this initiative aims to make businesses competitive in the global marketplace by amplifying business efficiency and operations.

    MyDIGITAL Initiative is divided into three phases and is expected to last until 2030. The implementation phases go as follows:

    • Phase 1 (2021-2022): Building and strengthening the digital adoption foundation
    • Phase 2 (2023-2025): Driving digital transformation forward
    • Phase 3 (2026-2030): Establishing Malaysia as a leader of cybersecurity and digital content in the region

    The goal is to develop the country’s digital economy to contribute up to 22.6% to the GDP and open up to 500,000 career options by the end of Phase 2.

    • Go Digital ASEAN

      In partnership with other ASEAN countries, the Go Digital ASEAN initiative aims to equip underemployed youth and micro to small and medium enterprises–especially in the rural areas–with the vital digital tools and skills they need to thrive in this digital-centric world.

      This initiative plans to connect and train up to 200,000 people across the region, focusing mainly on underserved communities and rural areas. Through this project, women-led businesses, ethnic minorities, underemployed youth, and persons with disabilities can have equal opportunities to grow the digital economy and develop an inclusive ASEAN society.

    • Cross-border eCommerce Initiative with Singapore

      Malaysia plans to engage in a cross-border eCommerce initiative with Singapore to grow the country’s eCommerce industry.

      As business policies in Malaysia are fairly welcoming, conducting a cross-border eCommerce plan is relatively easy and convenient. On the one hand, platforms such as Shoppe and Lazada allow foreign brands and companies to connect with the Malaysian market and benefit from cross-border sales without needing a physical presence in the country. On the other hand, setting up a business through company registration Malaysia allows foreign companies to penetrate the local market long-term.

Conclusion

Take the first step to tapping into the digitalisation opportunity by registering a company in Malaysia. Thereafter, you can use the various schemes to create digitised internal processes and/or services to fill the market gap.