Malaysia Budget 2018 Commentary by Albert Chai, Managing Director, Cisco Malaysia:
Malaysia’s Budget 2018 is a step in the right direction for the nation’s digital journey thanks to the great emphasis on efforts to digitise the manufacturing sector. This marks the country’s pivotal shift from a labour-driven economy to a more knowledge-driven society. The rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is definitely upon us.
With the measures under Budget 2018, Cisco believes that Malaysian manufacturers will be better positioned to capitalise on the upcoming opportunities brought upon by digitisation. In its nascent stage, the combination of tax reliefs and grant allocation Smart Manufacturing facilities will incentivise more manufacturers to adopt new technologies such as automation, Big Data Analytics and robotics.
Digital innovation will shape the next wave of economic development in this country. But at the heart of this transformation is the people. I am particularly excited about the various measures aimed at developing a workforce that is future-ready. Of particular interest is the RM250 million (mn) allocation to educate the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) generation, which encompasses the setting up of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centres and improving Computer Science modules, including Coding programmes.
At the same time, SMEs should not be left behind by the wave of progress. We laud the government’s measure, through Digital Free Trade Zone, to ensure the participation of 1,500 SMEs in the digital economy. Given that the economy is largely made up of SMEs, our progress towards becoming a digital economy will be hampered if they lag behind.
There’s never been a better time to fast track Malaysia’s digital economy and Cisco looks forward to driving this vision, in tandem with the positive measures outlined in Budget 2018.
Malaysia Budget 2018 Commentary by Christopher Ong, Managing Director of DHL Express Malaysia and Brunei:
Malaysia’s Budget 2018 introduced a series of exciting initiatives that will definitely bring further growth to Malaysia’s economy. We are encouraged by the RM83.5mn allocated in the budget for the first phase of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ). This serves as a great opportunity for SMEs to expand abroad and tap into regional markets, while creating strategic partnerships with key organisations such as international trade facilitators.
Logistics is one of the most important aspects to help companies scale internationally and our commitment in continuously providing this support remains steadfast. We believe that Budget 2018 is a good step forward in increasing the opportunities for local businesses and gives way for the logistics industry to contribute in preparation for the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution.