Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) continues to be at the forefront of driving Malaysia’s digital economy agenda, evidenced by its successes over the last 25 years. Echoing the government of Malaysia’s ambition to boost Malaysia’s digital economy, MDEC aspires to transform Malaysia as the ‘Heart of Digital ASEAN’ and concerted efforts are underway to accelerate the growth of the digital economy.
In February 2021, the government of Malaysia launched the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL). The blueprint’s release heightens the importance placed on the digital economy for sustainability amid the current crisis and the critical role it plays in advancing the economy. In 2019, Malaysia’s digital economy contributed 19.1% (or RM289.2 billion (US$68.46 billion)) to the nation’s GDP. By 2025, it is projected to rise to 22.6%, further highlighting the criticality of the digital economy toward GDP and the growth of the economy.
According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/2021 and Global Islamic Fintech Report 2021, Malaysia is ranked first, globally. The country’s success is attributed to its robust regulatory environment, well-established Islamic ﬁnancial community and profound government commitment to champion the Shariah compliant agenda and this has proven Malaysia to be the best test-bed environment for Islamic fintech companies. The number of innovative Islamic businesses in Malaysia is on a healthy uptrend, with 25 Islamic fintech start-ups 1 currently housed in Malaysia.
Based on DinarStandard’s estimates, the global Islamic economy market opportunity in 2024 is envisaged to total US$3.2 trillion with a 6.2% compound annual growth rate. Hence, in light of Malaysia’s global leadership in Islamic finance, the government aspires to transform the Malaysia Islamic Digital Economy (IDE) as a key catalyst for future economic growth. In support of this, MDEC aspires to proactively engage with all stakeholders (locally and globally) in the Islamic fintech and IDE ecosystem — fintech community, corporates, regulators, associations and other government bodies. This includes playing the role of enabler and coordinator of various initiatives and industry-driven programs to ensure continuous growth in the fintech and IDE industry.
Among the key incentives that have spurred the growth of the Malaysian digital-tech scene is the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia. Since its inception in 1996, the MSC Malaysia has succeeded in driving the nation’s digital economy to new heights. The MSC Malaysia status provides eligible information-, communication- and technology-related businesses, both local and foreign, with a wide range of incentives, rights and privileges to promote continued growth.
When it comes to local companies, especially those who were in the tech verticals — MDEC provides Malaysia-headquartered companies with the following support through MDEC’s GAIN program. The Malaysia Digital Hub (MDH), one of the initiatives under the GAIN program, helped and continues to transform coworking spaces to further foster tech innovation and cultivate the optimum environment for productivity and collaboration for the companies housed in these digital hubs. There are currently 21 certified MDHs of various locations in the Klang Valley and Penang.
The Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme (MTEP) is another incentive put in place to attract more foreign players to enter the Malaysian tech scene. MTEP provides a one-year pass for new entrepreneurs and a five-year pass for established entrepreneurs, coupled with access to various other supports by MDEC’s GAIN program.
To date, the GAIN program has helped over 150 companies to expand their businesses and has formed partnerships with over 200 parties globally and resulted in over US$1 billion in digital export revenue. To know more about GAIN, kindly visit https://mdec.my/gain/.
Zooming into fintech specific interventions, MDEC in collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia, launched the Fintech Booster program. The Fintech Booster program provides a capacity-building program for fintech companies to develop meaningful innovative products and services by enhancing their understanding of legal, compliance and regulation requirements. Since its launch in August 2020, the program through its portal has attracted over 500 registered users of local and global presence. Three verticals will be introduced in the program, namely: 1) legal and compliance; 2) business model; and 3) technology. The first vertical, which is legal and compliance, includes a series of public workshops or clinic sessions that are run by renowned partners, covering topics ranging from company law to cybersecurity and data governance. As at the 1st July 2021, a total of 24 public sessions and 35 clinics were successfully completed. The next vertical, the business model, is targeted to be launched in September 2021.
To know more about Fintech Booster, kindly visit http://fintechbooster.com.my/.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is the agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia leading the nation’s digital transformation for 25 years. MDEC’s agenda is Malaysia 5.0, enabling a nation deeply integrated with technology, providing equitable digital opportunities to the people and businesses.
In order to achieve this, we will focus on four key DIGITAL thrusts, New skills, Adoption, Disruptors and Investments. This forms the basis of our NADI Digital brand campaign that will drive our core programs for the rakyat, business and investors. MDEC’s aim is for Malaysia to become a globally competitive digital nation, anchored on inclusivity, sustainability and shared prosperity, firmly establishing Malaysia as the ‘Heart of Digital ASEAN’.
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