Photo - (From left) - Eric Wong, Marketing Director of IBM Malaysia; David Medeiros, Director of Total Patterning Solutions, USA; Hiroshi Yamamoto, Distinguished Engineer & Chief Technology Officer of Global Electronics Industry, Japan; Tien Nguyen, Distinguished Engineer, IBM Software Services Federal, USA; Farhana Alarakhiya, Director, Industry Solutions & Marketing, IBM Software Group, Canada; Nico van Ruiten, Partner & Business Development Executive, Banking & Financial Markets, Europe, GBS, Netherlands; Dato' Haji Mat Ali Hassan, Negeri Sembilan State Secretary; Dato' Vijay Ratnavelu, Director of Rangkaian Minang (NS) Sdn Bhd; and Alberto Rangogni, IBM Global Financing Director, Spanish South America, Argentina.
An international IBM team, which was funded by an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant, has put together a blueprint for the economic development and transformation of the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan by 2020
The state secretary of Negeri Sembilan Dato' Haji Mat Ali Hassan said the IBM team spent three weeks in the region and worked with the state government as well as its one-stop IT agency, Rangkaian Minang (NS) [RMNS] to gather input from stakeholders in the state, which is located on the western coast of Malaysia.
"The changing economic landscape is leading us to examine ways we can re-examine opportunities for deeper investments in the region," he said. "The recommendations from the IBM team will help us to streamline that effort and focus our efforts on the areas that will lead to the highest gains."
IBM Malaysia managing director Paul Moung said the IBM team's comprehensive roadmap included recommendations to form a body to coordinate and realise the state's economic development goals and draw new investment into the region.
"We noted that there was great scope for cross-agency collaborations within the government, including proactive engagement in citizen-centricity and long term sustainability," Moung. "Taken together, these initiatives should help the region realise sustainable economic growth."
While preserving the balance of tradition and culture, the state government targets a 37 percent increase of gross domestic product (GDP) from RM27.7 billion [US$8.64 billion] to RM38 billion [US$11.86 billion] as well as a 23 percent per income/capita growth from RM32.5K [US$10,140] to RM40K [US$12,480]. The state intends to retain manufacturing as a core economic driver, yet diversify its economic base to ensure that it will not be subject to market volatility.
First Malaysian state to win this grant
Launched in 2011, the Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-region US$50 million programme, which funds IBM experts who study and then develop detailed recommendations,
Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus was one of the municipalities to win an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2013 and also the first state in Malaysia to receive IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge grant.
In the past three years, IBM stated it has sent 600 experts on six-person teams to 100 municipalities and that each engagement, lasting three weeks, is valued at US$400,000.
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