Digital Malaysia initiative
"This is exactly the kind of budget that will enable us to drive Malaysia towards a strong Digital Economy in the years to come," said government ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali. "The proposals would continue to build the digital components of our economy and this will have a very strong impact on the ICT sector and mesh well with Digital Malaysia."
"In line with our aim to become a developed digital economy by 2020, by focusing on moving Malaysians from digital consumers to producers and creating more knowledge workers, MDeC welcomes the various youth-related incentives, including the new smartphone incentives [the Youth Communication Package] and the announcement of the New Entrepreneur Foundation [NEF] to train and mentor young ICT entrepreneurs with an initial allocation of RM50 million [US$16.34 million]," said Badlisham.
"In addition, we are also pleased with the announcement that a Young Entrepreneurs Fund will be established with an allocation of RM50 million by the SME Bank that will offer soft loans aimed at youths aged 30 and below, with a two percent interest rate subsidy for loans up to RM100,000 [US$32,690] with a seven-year repayment period," he said.
"We are very excited about the Intellectual Property Financing Fund scheme, which MDeC has been closely collaborating with the industry to create the much needed intellectual property market for technopreneurs," Badlisham said. "The fund will enable local ICT companies to increase their funding capability allowing them to diversify their product offerings to generate more home-grown innovative solutions."
"The Get Malaysian Business Online Programme (GMBO) to assist small entrepreneurs, particularly women, to increase their sales online will be another key boost to the digital economy," said Badlisham. "There is a huge latent business opportunity here and this programme will help accelerate this otherwise dormant sector. The government's proposal on deductions equal to the amount of investment made by angel investors against their income will certainly be a boon to innovators in the country."
"The RM1 billion [about US$327 million] Domestic Investment Strategic Fund under the Malaysian Investment Development Authority to leverage on outsourcing opportunities and intensify technology acquisition by Malaysian-owned companies will serve as another fabulous incentive," said Badlisham. "This will serve as a boost to MDeC's efforts in developing Malaysia into a regional hub for shared services and outsourcing by growing the industry's strength to 100,000 employees in the near future.
"We are also excited about the SME Development Scheme that encourages greater adoption of innovation and productivity. MDeC certainly sees ICT as a key enabler for this game-changing transformation for SMEs," he said.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.