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Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani (second from right) together with (from left) Khazanah Nasional Bhd executive director Datuk Charon Mokhzani, Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Khazanah Nasional Bhd Investments executive director Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz at the launch of the Khazanah Nasional Entrepenurship Outreach during the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2017. (Pic by MAHZIR MAT ISA)
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani (second from right) together with (from left) Khazanah Nasional Bhd executive director Datuk Charon Mokhzani, Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Khazanah Nasional Bhd Investments executive director Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin Raja Abdul Aziz at the launch of the Khazanah Nasional Entrepenurship Outreach during the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2017. (Pic by MAHZIR MAT ISA)

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is already laying down the groundwork for Malaysia to become a major player in digital economy.

“The government is closely monitoring this evolving landscape with heightened interest and it is our sincere belief that the digital economy can in fact be our new economic 'forte’,” said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani during his closing remarks at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2017 (KMF17) today.

“Despite the availability of these technologies globally, different countries enjoy different benefits from utilising these technologies. Therefore, what distinguishes one country from another is the ability to craft the right policies that will enable them to harness the full potential of these technologies.”

He explained the importance of implementing the right policies in pushing forward with the digital economy agenda.

“Malaysia has already initiated various policies to create a conducive environment that supports innovation, entrepreneurship and digitisation. These include funding of private enterprises, setting up incubator organisations for entrepreneurs as well as the establishment of special trade zones such as the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ),” said Johari.

“I am confident that DFTZ will increase small and medium enterprises (SME) contribution to the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). By promoting the growth and proliferation of e-commerce in Malaysia, it is the aim of the government to make Malaysia the premier regional hub for industry in Southeast Asia.”

He added that the DFTZ will also help push Malaysia to become a leader of this disruptive technological wave, instead of just keeping up with the 'new medium of trading’.

Johari also shared that the government will include coding into the national school syllabus in 2018, in preparation of creating the workforce of the future.

“Coding will be officially included in the national school syllabus starting 2018, which is in line with the Malaysian Education Blueprint,” he said.

“As many as 17,000 teachers have undergone training and will be fully equipped to teach computational thinking in schools. We will also continue to nurture and emphasise logical thinking and problem solving skills in the academic curriculum, without neglecting the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.”

Held across two days, the KMF17 attracted nearly 1,000 participants, comprising local and foreign corporate leaders, policy-makers, academics, non-governmental organisations and civil society practitioners.

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