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KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 ( Bernama) — Catalysed by COVID-19, the globalisation of digitisation means there is an increasingly urgent need to address the various obstacles we face to harness the forces of technology for the well-being of Malaysian households, firms and workers, said Bursa Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar.
He said the digital economy and digitisation have certainly become somewhat of a buzzword in policy circles over the past decades.
“Yet, we cannot lose sight of the importance of digitalisation to the economic development and livelihoods of people.
“We live in a world where we either innovate or perish,” he said at the World Digital Economy and Technology Summit (WDETS) gala dinner, here, today.
Abdul Wahid said while digitalisation could have substantial positive effects on the overall macroeconomic performance, there could also be labour market implications as automation and artificial intelligence would potentially replace workers.
He also said ensuring a sufficient level of internet infrastructure development and digital education, as well as reducing the digital divide were other factors driving the potential of digitalisation, as an input to economic progress.
“Policymakers, therefore, face challenges in order to harness the maximum benefits of digitalisation for the competitiveness of their economies, including through appropriate education and labour market reforms, as well as digital infrastructure investment,” he said.
Abdul Wahid further pointed out that Malaysia has among the highest number of digital users and a good infrastructure for the digital economy, with almost one million small and medium enterprises adopting e-commerce.
“We have over 5,000 innovative start-ups and three unicorn start-ups. Malaysia’s digital economy contributes to a quarter of our economy.
“We have emerging digital industries such as smart cities, manufacturing, fintech and agro-food tech. Our country may be small relative to our neighbours but we have many innovation clusters such as Penang, Cyberjaya and Kuching,” he noted.
Besides that, he also said that the multi-stakeholder approach will be critical to ensuring the benefits of the digital economy are distributed and shared equitably with the people.
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