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MDEC to Enhance MSC Malaysia to Accelerate Nationwide Participation in the Digital Economy

The MSC initiative will be revamped and rebranded to enhance Malaysia’s value proposition for digital investments.

by Gopalakrishnan Nair
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Mahadhir Aziz, CEO, MDEC

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead digital economy agency, is set to revamp and rebrand the MSC Malaysia initiative as it marks its 25th anniversary this year.

The new and improved MSC will seek to accelerate participation in the digital economy and address the concerns on the widening digital divide by providing equitable access to digital tools, knowledge, and income opportunities, enhancing Malaysia’s value proposition to attract more digital investments.

“MSC Malaysia has been the foundation and catalyst of Malaysia’s digital economy, contributing 22.6 percent to the country’s GDP in 2020 in just 25 years. The fast-evolving landscape of today’s digital economy requires a reboot of the MSC to remain relevant and ready to boost the economic recovery of Malaysia.

“The enhanced MSC will drive the development of the nation’s digital economy, in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), as well as bring us closer to the goals set forth by the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP), which targets the digital economy contributing 25.5 percent to the national GDP by 2025,” said Mahadhir Aziz, CEO, MDEC.

The MSC was founded in 1996 to develop a conducive digital economy ecosystem through nurturing local ICT champions and attracting global investments. Beyond promoting digital adoption, the initiative has helped expand a skilled digital talent pool on top of creating high-income jobs.

MDEC, through MSC, has attracted 2,794 active MSC-status companies, which have collectively brought in RM384 billion worth of investments and created 184,030 jobs since 1996. These enterprises include 40 of the Forbes100 companies.

As of December 2020, these companies have a total of RM588 billion in revenue and RM212 billion in exports generated. Malaysia also ranked in the Top 3 of Kearney’s Global Services Location Index since 2004.

The enhanced MSC will work towards addressing gaps in the existing framework. The current economic condition meant that the existing incentive package would need to be reworked to be more attractive to modern investors and tech leaders. The new normal of remote or hybrid work has also opened new growth opportunities.

The enhanced MSC will feature a new framework including a review on the Bills of Guarantee and incentives, an expansion of location for MSC promoted activities throughout Malaysia, improved governance and process enhancements, and a refreshed brand, among others.

Additionally, the introduction of the Malaysia Digital Nomad programme in Budget 2022 will support the mobility of local and foreign digital talents and extend the digital expertise to all parts of Malaysia, in line with the objectives of the new MSC to establish Malaysia as the region’s preferred Digital Nomad Hub. 

These Digital Nomads are workers who generate income without a fixed physical location and has the potential to contribute significantly to the national economy, especially to the tourism industry.

MDEC will be organising roundtable discussions with industry and digital economy stakeholders to gather feedback and suggestions on how the MSC can be enhanced and improved to support establishment of Malaysia as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.

“To develop a digital economy that is inclusive and sustainable is a journey that we cannot undertake alone. Collaboration will be key to ensure that MSC 2.0 will be a game-changer for the next 25 years. MDEC will be leading the conversations towards the creation of a new MSC that allows us to drive the progressive, equitable and innovation-led digital economy that we have envisioned,” concluded Mahadhir.

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