MDEC launches inaugural SME Digital Summit to unleash Malaysian SMEs into ASEAN’s US$300bil internet economy
By Digital News Asia August 6, 2020
- Total of 12 panels sessions on 10 areas of digitalisations across 10 key sectors
- Part of MDEC’s #SayaDigitalMonth, a campaign to expand digital competence
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has announced the launch of its first-ever SME Digital Summit. This virtual platform aims to empower small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take the digital leap by cultivating a digital transformation mindset and enabling them to accelerate their digitalisation journey.
As is, SMEs form the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, with their digitalisation forecasted to add US$19 billion to US$24 billion (RM79.7 billion to RM100.7 billion) to the country's GDP by 2024.
The upcoming SME Digital Summit will be running from 11-13 August 2020, and is expected to host up to 100,000 participants who will be participating in various digital panel discussions, conferences, workshops, and training clinics. These are all organised in collaboration with the event’s 60 partners.
Various multinational companies and local enterprises will also be joining the Summit, including Maxis, Digi, Amazon Web Services and Dell Technologies. There will be a total of 12 panel sessions, featuring discussions on 10 areas of digitalisation and how they can be applied across 10 key business sectors.
“Covid-19, in many ways, reinforced the reality of why digitalisation is more than just a buzzword, as it is now crucial for Malaysian SMEs to operate in a technology-dependent ecosystem. We saw how new and different digital technologies helped businesses sustain their operations during the movement control order (MCO),” says MDEC’s chief executive officer, Surina Shukri (pic).
“However, digitalisation is not a feat that can be accomplished in silos. MDEC stands ready to support our SMEs with upskilling capabilities, knowledge development and insightful guidance – all of which will help them to better embrace digital adoption,” Surina promises.
She adds that these are crucial for Malaysian businesses to prosper, as they will encourage SMEs to take that digital leap forward.
“More importantly, they will be more inclined to tap into new market opportunities and even engage the US$300 billion potential that the ASEAN Internet Economy offers. This will accelerate Malaysia’s efforts in expanding its digital economy and further ensure shared prosperity for all.”
[RM1 = US$0.23]
The SME Digital Summit will inaugurate MDEC’s #SayaDigital Month, an initiative designed to accelerate the growth of a digital society in Malaysia. The month-long campaign aims to expand digital competence and adoption among all Malaysians, and empower them to navigate the new normal within society and business.
The first two weeks of the month will focus on driving digital businesses, while the second half of the month will provide opportunities for Malaysians to learn and enhance their digital skills.
Kicking off the Summit is a panel discussion entitled: “Malaysia sebagai Nadi Digital ASEAN” (‘Malaysia is the Heart of Digital ASEAN’), featuring Ministry of Communications and Multimedia secretary general Suriani Ahmad; MDEC chairman Dr Rais Hussin and Ernst & Young ASEAN consulting leader Chow Sang How.
They will be discussing on how SME digitalisation efforts can be scaled to help more SMEs with their digitalisation journey and the role Malaysia will play as the critical driver of the digital economy for Southeast Asia.
Besides providing industry insights on current topics and expert knowledge on business solutions, the SME Digital Summit also offers an avenue for participants to expand their business network. Attendees will have the chance to virtually meet industry peers, exchange solutions and create potential collaborations to grow their businesses through the webinars and workshops.
The SME Digital Summit, as well as the #SayaDigitalMonth, is part of MDEC’s 100 Go Digital campaign. This extension of the campaign aims to increase digital literacy, facilitate digital adoption for SMEs and increase engagement between key players in the ecosystem, which includes information-sharing sessions, focused panel sessions as well as business matching and networking opportunities.
In addition to the summit, MDEC, together with Bank Simpanan Nasional and SME Bank, are encouraging businesses to digitalise by applying for the SME Business Digitalisation Grant (SBDG), where a company will be matched with a 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 for the subscription of approved digital services.
Meanwhile, the Smart Automation Grant (SAG) is aimed at SMEs and mid-tier companies in the services sector to kickstart their digital adoption journey. Each successful SAG application will receive up to 50% of the total project cost, subject to a ceiling limit of RM200,000 through this matching grant.
To sign up or learn more about the SME Digital Summit visit www.smedigitalsummit.com.
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