US$4.72mil digital adoption boost to micro and SME enterprises from Malaysia’s economic stimulus

  • National PeDAS programme equips rural communities with digital entrepreneurship skills
  • Unleash potential of hyperlocal products to wider market through e-commerce platforms

Participants in a PID (rural internet community) centre picking up digital skills in Malacca, Malaysia.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has welcomed the tabling of the Economic Stimulus Package by the Interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad today. MDEC says it shows the seriousness of the Government to accelerate the digital adoption of the micro-small-and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and in making Malaysia an e-commerce hub.

The allocation of US$4.72 million (RM20 million) to the Perkhidmatan e- Dagang Setempat (PeDAS) programme to transform the Pusat Internet Desa (PID) (rural internet centres) into e-commerce hubs will further galvanise digital transformation amongst MSMEs in rural areas, in line with the current rapid development of the e-commerce industry.

PeDAS is an initiative specifically designed to help rural MSMEs market their products through e-commerce platforms and ease the burden of entrepreneurs who do not have an integrated support system or complete knowledge of digital marketing, branding, certification and so on, to make their e-commerce business successful.

Currently, PeDAS is available at PIDs which serve as one-stop centres to offer opportunities and space for MSMEs to hone their skills in e-commerce. This is a crucial first step in enabling MSMEs to gain access to the global digital economy, as well as to encourage them to utilise the various applications and digital tools to expand and improve the efficiency of their businesses.

MDEC expects that more MSMEs will come forward to take this opportunity to strengthen their knowledge in e-commerce as this experience will give them an advantage and increase their chances of sustaining and succeeding in their businesses.

In addition, a grant of RM1,000 for 10,000 people will further assist local entrepreneurs to promote the sales of their products on e-commerce platforms and accelerate the development of Malaysia into an e-commerce hub.

MDEC also acknowledged the plan to promote higher value-added private sector investments by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) providing an SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility of RM300 million at an interest rate of 3.75% and the incentive providing accelerated capital allowances over a two-year period on expenses incurred on machinery and equipment including ICT.

MDEC expects these announcements to boost its initiative in making Malaysia as the heart of digital ASEAN in driving digital investment and in the creation of digital high-value jobs for the nation.

MDEC also applauds the initiative to promote the tourism industry through digital adoption. The use of digital vouchers for Malaysians to be used for domestic tourism be it flights, railway and accommodation will further boost the nation’s digital economy.

Meanwhile, the allocation of RM50 million to subsidise short courses in digital skills and highly skilled courses that will benefit 100,000 Malaysians is also expected to complement MDEC’s digitally-skilled Malaysian initiatives under the talent development cluster of MDEC.

Earlier this month, MDEC had announced its collaboration with Bank Simpanan National and SME Bank to provide matching grants for SME entrepreneurs to enhance their use of digital applications in their daily business operations. Under the strategic collaboration, matching grants amounting to RM500 million over a period of five years will be available to the first 100,000 SMEs who apply to upgrade their systems.

The Economic Stimulus Package 2020 is aimed at stimulating Malaysia’s economy and mitigate any adverse repercussions arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and other external uncertainties.

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