Malaysian CEOs share high expectations on the country’s digital economy

MALAYSIA’s digital economy is expected to balloon to RM125 bil by 2025, according to the fifth edition of the e-Conomy SEA Report released by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company.

In a panel session entitled Breakfast Series: Peering into Malaysia’s Digital Future, business leaders were given the opportunity to share their visions for the country’s digital future.

During the session, Google Malaysia managing director Mark Woo highlighted three key insights from the report:

  • Flight to digital: In 2020, more than one in three Malaysians turned to digital services for the first time to access essential services. These include e-commerce, food & groceries, healthcare, education and online media.
  • E-commerce growth: Malaysia recorded a significant growth of 87% year-on-year (yoy) in the e-Commerce sector, which is the highest among the Southeast Asia region.
  • Digital talent: Talent in the digital field remains the key enabler to the success of the digital economy, which requires the collaboration of multiple parties to ensure that momentum is sustained.

Speaking on future trends, Grab Malaysia managing director Sean Goh shared: “There is one potentially unexpected shift we see and that is Malaysians will become more equal as human beings and in opportunities. An example of this is the true story of a deaf driver- partner who was able to communicate with a blind passenger using the text-to-voice and voice-to-text function on their phones.”

“Not only that, through artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G, we could even have real-time translation between sign and verbal language, and also written and spoken language. It is amazing to see how positive changes that derive from digital growth are already evident through these inspiring stories,” Sean said.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) said that while Malaysians are now looking into ways to go forth with their digital journey, many are still considering the relevance to do so.

“Malaysia will realise that we can adopt various facets of digital technologies while also digitalising the middle portion of the business process and any other innovations that comes after,” Surina said.

In regards to innovations down the road, Maxis CEO Gokhan Ogut expects the introduction of 5G to enable future technologies in revolutionary ways due to its capability in bringing higher bandwidth, faster speeds and low latency.

“The limitless possibilities from the 5G network can be leveraged upon in various technologies from augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and Internet of Things (IoT) across industries such as agriculture and manufacturing, contributing significantly to national GDP,” Gokhan said. – Feb 6, 2021

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