Malaysian state of Selangor focuses on digital ecosystem, economy (The Jakarta Post)

Selangor Malaysia digital economy

Dato’ Hasan Azhari joined other VIPs to officiate Top E-commerce Merchant Awards 2020
Source: The Jakarta Post

With the highest gross domestic product (GDP) in the country, the state of Selangor possesses the largest economy in Malaysia, consistently contributing over 22 percent of the country’s GDP over the years with a large number of multinational corporations making the state their base.

Even when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the national GDP to contract by 5.6 percent in 2020, Selangor recorded a growth of 2.09 percent. At the same time, the state attracted 18.4 billion ringgit (US$4.42 billion) in foreign investments out of the total 64.2 billion ringgit ($15.43 billion) received by Malaysia in 2020, making it the country’s top investment destination for three years in a row.

Yet as the pandemic accelerated digitization across the world, Selangor is committed to building a digital economy and ecosystem, keeping it at the forefront of technology while at the same time attracting more investors.

In a recent interview with The Jakarta Post, Invest Selangor Berhad CEO Dato’ Hasan Azhari Bin Haji Idris said the state had developed the Smart Selangor Vision 2025, outlining four main domains in ensuring the digital ecosystem within the state was ready by 2025.

“At its core, Smart Selangor is an initiative by the state to empower its people, businesses and the public sector by optimizing digital technologies toward delivering the Smart State objectives,” he said. The four key domains that will drive the initiatives are Smart Government, Smart Economy, Smart Community and Smart Digital Infrastructure.

According to Hasan, the digitalization of the public sector deliverables and services under the Smart Government domain is key in pushing through the agenda, and increasingly so with the restrictions brought forward by the pandemic. The developments include the establishment of the Smart Selangor C5i Operations Centre, Intelligent Traffic Management System and Citizen e-Payment gateway.

For its digital infrastructure plans, Selangor also has rolled out the Selangor Gigabit Network (SeGNet), Smart Selangor Hybrid Data Centre (SSDC) and Local Cloud Computing initiatives.

The state’s continued focus in stepping up its digitalization agenda was made apparent in its 2021 state budget, where nearly one-third of Selangor’s 369 million ringgit development fund was earmarked for digital infrastructure initiatives and programs. One of the programs within the allocation was the establishment of the Selangor Innovation Fund, to which 100 million ringgit has been allocated to spur the growth of start-ups in the state through venture capital investments. Another 5 million ringgit was earmarked for the SME Digitalization Matching Grant, a dedicated initiative to encourage more micro and small businesses in the state to adopt digitalization in their operations.

“Selangor is also home to Cyberjaya, Malaysia’s center of innovation and digital transformation. Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the Tech Hub developer of Cyberjaya, outlined its role in developing a more holistic tech ecosystem comprising commercial and digital activities, where the development of new innovations and emerging technologies may be tested and subsequently commercialized, all within the ready ecosystem in Cyberjaya itself,” Hasan explained.

To that end, Cyberjaya had developed a masterplan focusing on three technological clusters: Smart Mobility, Smart Healthcare and Digital Creative. With its excellent infrastructure to support growth across all areas, attractive incentives, a ready and multilingual talent pool as well as a supportive and involved community, it is an attractive proposition for both established regional and global tech businesses and promising start-ups to call it home.

“The positive development and mushrooming of tech companies in Selangor and particularly in Cyberjaya has created the demand and investment opportunities especially within the digital infrastructure ecosystem such as data centers, cloud computing, cybersecurity and other business services.”

Along with leading Malaysia’s digital aspirations, Selangor also possesses a decidedly proactive state government with business-friendly policies. Hasan noted that the state government understood the importance of Selangor as the prime mover of Malaysia’s economy, and therefore implemented initiatives that would benefit the country as a whole.

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The Jakarta Post

27 August 2021

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