Citi Malaysia and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) recently co-hosted a forum on ASEAN growth and why data has proven to be the accelerator of enhanced business growth and competitiveness as business enterprises increasingly embrace digital transformation strategies for sustainable future growth.

Citi Singapore and ASEAN Commercial Banking Head, Hsiu Yi Lin, and MDEC Chief Operating Officer, Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, launched the forum at the ASEAN Data Analytics eXchange (ADAX) in Kuala Lumpur, a platform initiated by MDEC to develop the data ecosystem and foster collaboration amongst businesses, start-ups, academia and professionals. The regional platform brings together innovative talent development models and showcases the latest Big Data Analytics technologies.

Dato’ Ng said, “IR4.0 trends such as big data analytics, machine learning, internet of things, virtual and augmented reality, mobility, artificial intelligence and eCommerce have already broken the proverbial glass ceiling as they move to digitise the world.” “Businesses must be immersed with any one, or all, of these influential factors to ensure their technology offerings are future-proof and able to take on these seismic shifts that the world is now experiencing,” she added.

Lin emphasized that data was indeed the pivot for growth in the new economy. “Data is the new oil and it is the age of ASEAN given global developments such as Brexit and the trade war that which make this region an attractive ground of stability for investments. We have a population of over 600 million with combined GDP just under USD3 trillion. Every country has an opportunity for growth and multinationals are shifting their supply chains to the region. For Citi, our global network strengths and expertise enable us to empower clients to expand globally and make that leap forward through smart data driven decisions,” she said. She added that Citi Commercial Bank had set up specialized teams globally to partner with clients in the digital segment and support their business needs through global cash management and advisory services.

Malaysia is currently ranked 4th in total value of e-commerce transactions in ASEAN and has a high rate of e-commerce usage, with a total of 19.8 million online shoppers or 63.5% of the total country population. A total of 63% of smartphone users in Malaysia shop online via mobile app.

The Citi-MDEC forum was aimed at promoting a better understanding on how data driven decisions can enhance business growth, higher productivity, competitiveness as well capabilities expansion and identifying data driven business use cases and the ensuing opportunities for enterprises.

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