The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is reinvigorating the nation’s push towards a digital-first future with the upcoming launch of its inaugural SME Digital Summit. This exciting virtual platform will empower small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take the digital leap by cultivating a digital transformation mindset among these businesses and enabling them to accelerate their digitalisation journey. As is, SMEs are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy and their digitalisation is forecasted to add US$19 billion to US$24 billion to the country’s GDP by 2024.
Running from 11-13 August 2020, the Summit expects to host up to 100,000 participants who will join various digital panel discussions, conferences, workshops, and training clinics that are organised in collaboration with the event’s 60 partners. Various multinational companies and local enterprises will 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, will be conducted throughout the event period.
“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,” said Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC.
“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. These are crucial for our businesses to prosper since 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,” she added.
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, empowering 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.
As the first of many major events taking place in August, the SME Digital Summit will be the launchpad for Malaysian businesses to learn, understand and appreciate the concept of digitalisation. Ultimately, the goal of the SME Digital Summit – as well as the broader 100 Go Digital initiative – is to embolden Malaysian businesses to embrace digital transformation so they will be fully equipped for ongoing and upcoming disruptions.
Kicking off this event is a panel discussion entitled – ‘Malaysia sebagai Nadi Digital ASEAN’ (‘Malaysia is the Heart of Digital ASEAN’), featuring Datuk Suriani Ahmad, Secretary General, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia; Datuk Wira Dr. Hj. Rais Hussin Bin Mohamed Ariff, Chairman, MDEC; and Chow Sang Hoe, Ernst & Young ASEAN Consulting Leader, as panellists. They will be discussing on how SME digitalisation efforts can be scaled to help more local 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 meet industry peers, exchange solutions and create potential collaborations to grow their businesses through the webinars and workshops. This is truly an invaluable networking opportunity as offline trade events currently faces a slowdown.
A part of MDEC’s 100 Go Digital campaign, this extension aims to increase digital literacy, facilitate digital adoption for SMEs and increase engagement between key players in the ecosystem. These include 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 up to RM200,000 or, whichever is the lowest, through this matching grant.
To sign up for the SME Digital Summit or to learn more, visit www.smedigitalsummit.com.