What Budget 2017 means for Malaysia's IT industry

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By AvantiKumar
Nov. 21, 2016

Dato' Yasmin Mahood, (pictured above) chief executive Officer of national ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) sounded the industry's general welcome for many of the budget proposals and emphasised the importance of ICT's role as an industry catalyst for growth. "A key driver to the economy in the years to come will be in the area of Digital Economy. 2017 is set to be the year of the Internet Economy. For Malaysia to build a vibrant Digital Economy, digital inclusivity is vital as our people are the key drivers to the larger economy,"

"The Digital economy offers unprecedented opportunities," said Yasmin. "All across the globe, governments, businesses and industries are respective of its scale and its impact on the economy. The Digital economy has been consistently increasing its contribution to the GDP and creating opportunities for people and businesses. And I am pleased to see that our prime minister recognises that Broadband is one of the key components that contributes to the nation's Digital economy growth."

"We welcome the allocation of RM1 billion (US$240 million) to increase the coverage and quality of broadband to [national regulator] Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Equally important, is the decision to double the broadband speed at half the price in two years' time, shows governments appreciation of faster digital connectivity at an affordable price within today's Digital Economy," she said/

"The measures announced under Budget 2017 will definitely help us seize the opportunity in capitalising on the Internet Economy. Our forecast reveals that we need one million digital workers, such as coders, application developers and software engineers, by 2025. We are pleased for the support for Digital Maker Movement, i.e. the initiative to identify and nurture young talents to be future digital innovators. It includes the move by Ministry of Education to incorporate computational thinking and computer science in schools from January next year, and private sector and academia support to further nurture these bright young talents," Yasmin said.

"The eRezeki and eUsahawan initiatives were launched last year to target key communities such as youth, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) , digital entrepreneurs and the B40, with an initial allocation of RM100 million (US$23.89 million). These initiatives have benefited 100,000 Malaysian and we expect more people to benefit in the coming years. With the Government allocating RM100 (US$$23.89) million, we will be able to drive these initiatives further and encourage greater cross collaboration to support our nation's digital inclusion programmes," said Yasmin

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