Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) welcomes the Economic Stimulus Package, as it shows the seriousness of the Government to accelerate the digital adoption of the micro-small-and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) entrepreneurs and in making Malaysia an e-commerce hub. The allocation of RM20 million to the Perkhidmatan e- Dagang Setempat (PeDAS) programme to transform the Pusat Internet Desa (PID) into an ecommerce hub will further galvanize 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. The initiative is to 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 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 respective 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 a huge advantage and increase their chances of sustaining and succeeding their businesses. In addition to this, the grants of RM1,000 to 10,000 local entrepreneurs to promote the sales of their products on e-commerce platforms announced Thursday will certainly complement the package in making Malaysia into ecommerce hub. MDEC acknowledges 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 cost of 3.75% and the announcement of providing accelerated capital allowances over a two-year period on expenses incurred on machinery and equipment including ICT.
MDEC added that these announcements will boost MDEC’s 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 promotion of the tourism industry through digital adoption as this will accelerate the growth of the national digital economy forward, as soon Malaysians will be eligible to digital vouchers for domestic tourism of up to RM100 per person for domestic flights, rails and hotel accommodation.
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. The Economic Stimulus Package 2020 aimed to stimulate Malaysia’s economy and mitigate any adverse repercussions arising from the COVID-19 outbreak and other external uncertainties. 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, a matching grants amount to RM500 million over a period of five years and are limited to the first 100,000 SMEs who apply to upgrade their systems.