KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): Malaysia needs an inclusive digital transformation to build a competitive and progressive digital economy to keep in step with developed countries, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said.
Tengku Zafrul said he shared the ideas for the future of the ASEAN digital community during a discussion titled “A Digital ASEAN for All” with several counterparts and corporate figures from Southeast Asian countries on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
He shared Malaysia’s success in bridging the financing gap for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as the informal economy.
“InsyaAllah, with the government’s initiatives such as the implementation of the MSME digitalisation road map, our country will continue to thrive by increasing the contribution of this business community to the national economy,” he shared in a post on his Facebook page.
Tengku Zafrul said the other participants also shared their experiences and efforts in their respective countries.
He said the main topic discussed during the session is how the digital future of the region could be shaped to benefit all walks of life.
When the world was hit by Covid-19, Internet users increased by more than 10% in just one year, he said, adding that the digital economy of the ASEAN region is now worth more than US$100 billion (about RM439.2 billion).
In another Facebook post, the finance minister said the second day of the WEF started with a discussion on “Building Resilience: Financing Local Economies” with several global corporate representatives.
The round-table discussion covered ways in which governments can support SMEs and social entrepreneurs to grow the local economy.
“I shared my views on the Malaysian government’s innovative efforts to support SMEs and social enterprises, including quasi-equity financing and a loan moratorium of up to 12 months through several financing measures provided under the Semarak Niaga Keluarga Malaysia packages worth RM40 billion in Budget 2022.
“I have gathered some new ideas that InsyaAllah will be shared with MoF (Ministry of Finance) staff for Budget 2023,” he said.