COLOMBO: Malaysia is well prepared to remain as a key technology player in Southeast Asia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.
The country was in the right path in embracing the transformations of the digital era or Industry 4.0 with initiatives such as Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) and the National Strategic Plan on Internet of Things (IoT).
Malaysia has much to gain from the implementation of its own model of Industry 4.0, Najib said at the launch of Axiata Group Bhd’s Dialog Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (Dadif) here yesterday.
“This means relooking and reinventing the way of doing things by incorporating technology into the whole process from manufacturing to supply chain right up to customer relations management.
“Today I can confidently say that Malaysia is well prepared to remain as a key technology player in Southeast Asia, as the region embraces the transformations of the digital era,” he said.
In March, four months after the idea was first conceived, Najib launched the DFTZ, the first ever outside of China.
The DFTZ is planned to combine physical and virtual zones with added online and digital services to facilitate international e-commerce and spur internet-based innovation.
The DFTZ began operations on Nov 3.
The National Strategic Plan on IoT, meanwhile, was projected to generate gross national income of US$2.5 billion by 2020 and create 14,270 high-skill jobs.
“There is no doubt that we are currently facing the transformational waves of the digital economy,” Najb said.
“Technology is changing not just how we do business or buy products, but also how we interact, organise politically, get involved in the community and how we solve problems. And all of these can support millions of new jobs and spur economic development,” he said.
Najib expressed pride in the achievements of government-linked companies like Axiata, especially when they venture beyond Malaysia’s shores.
“Today, we are not only celebrating Axiata and Dialog’s commercial triumphs but their contributions to the Sri Lankan economy and community through the introduction of communication technologies and advancements,” he said.
Najib pointed that Axiata Group’s Sri Lankan subsidiary Dialog Axiata plc had evolved into one of the leading contributors to the country’s economic growth and digital infrastructure development.
“I am delighted that over the past two decades, the Malaysian venture, Dialog, has become one of Sri Lanka’s largest companies with investments of over US$2.2 billion, the fourth largest market cap on the Colombo Stock Exchange; and most importantly, as I have been made to understand, the number one foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka.”