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‘Malaysia banking on digital economy’

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Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia minister Annuar Musa says ASEAN’s internet economy is expected to grow to $300 billion by 2025. BERNAMA

‘Malaysia banking on digital economy’

Malaysia has placed much importance on digital economy by rolling out plans such as the National Digital Infrastructure Plan (Jendela) to boost digital connectivity in the country, says Minister of Communications and Multimedia Annuar Musa.

This was also to prepare Malaysia for transition to 5G technology, he said.

He added that the gradual deployment of 5G would transform Malaysia into an innovation hub and attract new investments worth 70 billion ringgit ($17 billion) in the digital sector from international and local investors.

This would help create new business opportunities and high-value jobs in Malaysia with an estimated 100,000 new jobs expected between 2021 and 2025, he said at the Dialogue on China-ASEAN Information Harbour on September 26.

He took part virtually in the dialogue held in Wuzhen of China’s Zhejiang province.

Annuar said the Covid-19 crisis had transformed digitalisation from healthcare services to online purchases and payments.

“Digital economy has the potential to be the key driver in developing new industries and areas of growth in ASEAN,” he said.

Citing the World Economic Forum, he said ASEAN had the world’s fastest expanding internet market.

“In 2019, the region’s Internet economy hit $100 billion, three times more than the last four years. By 2025, the region’s Internet economy is expected to grow to $300 billion,” he said.

However, he cautioned that the rise of digital economy would also lead to cyber security threats.

“When it comes to potential in the cyber security industry, Malaysia is one of the best ranking countries in the region,” he said.

Annuar said the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy 2020-2024 and the Cyber Security Empowerment Programme were part of efforts to tackle cyber security threats.

“At the ASEAN level, Malaysia is working together with Singapore, through our national cyber security agencies, to develop the ASEAN Plan of Action on the Implementation of Norms of Responsible States Behaviour in Cyberspace,” he said.

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