Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC), the country’s national ICT custodian, has introduced the Malaysia Digital Hub and Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme — as it aims to support and further grow the country’s tech startup ecosystem.
The Malaysia Digital Hub is an initiative that supports tech and digital co-working spaces. It offers startups with the opportunity to expand globally, ready accses to high-speed broadband connectivity, funding and facilitation opportunities, workforce-ready ecosystem, among others.
“A startup journey is both rewarding and challenging. Realising this, we have been working with MDEC and private sector to structure the Malaysia Digital Hub. There is no doubt that Malaysia is committed to grow technology-related startup companies in this country,” said Ministry of Finance Secretary General of Treasure Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
Currently, three digital hubs that have been approved by the government – APW, The Co. and Common Ground; all located in Klang Valley.
While the Malaysia Digital Hub encourages the participation from all tech startups, the initiative focuses on four categories — growing startups, global tech companies, accelerators and talent builders/ investors.
The incentives under the Malaysia Digital Hub initiative include: Corporate tax exemption for tech startups, access to funding, coaching and mentoring, working passes, and others.
As part of the Malaysia Digital Hub initiative as well as part of the country’s efforts to transform Malaysia into a regional hub for tech startups, MDEC also introduced the Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programe (MTEP).
MTEP is an iniviative that aims to attract gifted and ambitious individuals from all around the world, and to help them to kick-start their startups in Malaysia.
Under the MTEP, entrepreneurs from all around the world are encouraged to apply if they wish to set up their startups in Malaysia. The application process wlil take not more than 21 days.
“Malaysia is gradually gaining interests from startups and entrepreneurs worldwide. Located at the heart of South East Asia, Malaysia is able to connect businesses to a regional market of more than 625 million people,” said MDEC chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood.
“With the introducetion of Malaysia Digital Hub and MTEP, the local and global tech startup communities can now leverage these benefits that our country has to offer. We believe this will help to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a global hub for startups and entrepreneurs.”
In further enriching the ecosystem in these hubs, MDEC has introduced the following strategic partners – Microsoft, Next Academy, Maybank, and Y Academy with Kejora to run programmes that would help the startups to grow further.
Meanwhile, Irwan expressed his confidence that the country’s digital economy goal could be achieved ahead of schedule. Initially, Malaysia hopes that the digital economy would be able to contribute 20% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.
However, with the recent launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone and the Malaysia Digital Hub, Irwan believes that the goal could be achieved earlier than 2020.
“Malaysia can also leverage on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Digital Free Trade Zone is an area where our small and medium enterprises can benefit from partnerships with big players like Alibaba.
“Seeing the rate at which MDEC is bringing in the investments, we can achieve it earlier than 2020,” said Irwan after officiating the Malaysia Digital Hub and MTEP in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.