OPENING REMARKS BY YB DATO’ SERI MOHAMED AZMIN ALI ON LEADERSHIP AND DIGITAL SUMMIT 2020: GO B.I.G WITH DIGITAL

  • I am honoured to welcome all of you to the launch of Leadership and Digital Summit 2020. The theme “Go B.I.G with Digital” is most apt in view of the situation that we are facing today.
  • In the age of digital disruption, the mantra of Breakthrough, Integrity and Good resonates indeed with demands for continuous innovation and enhanced productivity through the adoption of digital technology.
  • In this regard, I would like to commend the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) for the establishment of Nine Productivity Nexus as a platform to drive multi- stakeholder initiatives to increase productivity, including no doubt, with the SMEs sector.
  • Globally, Malaysia ranks 33rd among 144 countries in ICT Adoption Pillars in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019 by the World Economic Forum. With strong support and smart collaborations between public and private sectors, there are certainly more avenues to guide our SMEs to digitally empower Malaysian businesses.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  • With the establishment of the Digital Economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution Council, the Government is providing clear and coherent policy leadership to scale the country's capabilities in technological advancements and power the growth of the digital economy.
  • Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an added urgency for Malaysia to deal head long with the ‘new norm’ to provide quality access to digital connectivity as well as devise strategies to address future contingencies. It has pushed forward the need to embrace automation and ICT fully in the efforts to ensure the continuity and competitiveness of the industries.
  • Hence, the Government recently formulated the Jalinan Digital Negara Plan (JENDELA) to improve coverage and quality of service and set the foundation for 5G. This will be achieved via a phased approach, beginning with key quick win initiatives, maximising the existing resources and infrastructure to ensure the people can get maximal broadband connectivity.
  • Subsequently, the requisite high-tech infrastructure will be put in place to fast track our transition into 5G wireless technology. As an enabler of higher and quicker rate of technology adoption and digital transformation, the implementation of JENDELA is therefore timely and central and no doubt will be a primary catalyst to propel the country on a higher trajectory of economic growth.
  • I wish to stress that in our efforts to complement the JENDELA initiative, MITI has given top priority to the development of digitalisation in its New Services Sector Blueprint 2021-2025. All new programs on digitalisation under this Blueprint will support and complement all JENDELA initiatives as part of the continuous efforts to ensure the well-being of the people.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  • In the 3rd Quarter 2020, Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth improved to -2.7% as compared to -17.1% for the 2nd Quarter. This is significant indeed as reflecting the effectiveness of the initiatives implemented by the Government including the various economic stimulus packages.
  • Meanwhile, our GDP is projected to grow between 6.5 and 7.5% in 2021, with the strong rebound to be driven by the anticipated improvement in global growth in demand and international trade. This is also in line with other multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund which has projected a global economic growth of 5.2% and a global trade growth of 8.3% in 2021.
  • The renewed focus will be on increasing foreign direct investments, enhancing productivity and re-instilling consumer confidence. Prioritising essential areas such as improving the ease of doing business, enhancing the usage of technology and digitalisation across public and private sectors as well as ensuring a stable labour market would be requisite for continued flow of high value-added investments into the country.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  • As leadership remains a critical element in any organisation, preparing the team to embrace the digital revolution through technology innovation can only be rolled out successfully through great digital leadership.
  • In this regard, MITI will continue to provide the impetus and leadership to strengthen the industries particularly the SMEs and support them to drive productivity and ensure sustainability.
  • It is indeed noteworthy that the Government has unveiled an expansionary budget for 2021 with a clear focus on exponential productivity growth through the adoption of digital technology and IR4.0.
  • Among the enablers is the RM1 billion budget for Industrial Digitalisation Transformation, an allocation that takes into account the challenges, needs and welfare of all strata of societies, industries, and businesses. The additional RM150 million for SME Digitalisation Grant Scheme and Smart Automation Grant will facilitate micro SMEs and start-ups to empower businesses to fuel the growth of this important sector.
  • Clearly, digitalisation will boost productivity growth for SMEs in Malaysia – for the immediate, medium and long term. Highly productive economies must adapt quickly to technological developments and this involves the willingness of leaders to acculturate new ways of producing goods and services, resulting in innovative ways of operating businesses.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  • It will take time and going big with digital does not happen overnight. We need to rise together and pool our human capital resources to achieve Breakthrough results, enhance loyalty with Integrity and to bring a force of Good for all stakeholders of the business ecosystem.
  • In closing, I wish to thank the organisers, Digital Productivity Nexus and MPC for your support and commitment towards achieving our nation’s productivity agenda. I am indeed delighted to be here with you to launch the Go B.I.G with Digital video and wish everyone a productive day ahead and a very successful conference.

Thank you.