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MDEC Launches First SME Digital Summit

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The Digital Summit will empower local SMEs with new means to tap ASEAN's US$300 bil Internet Economy.

The  Malaysia  Digital  Economy  Corporation (MDEC) is reinvigorating the nation’s push towards a digital-first future with the upcoming launch of its inaugural SME Digital Summit.

This exciting virtual platform will empower small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take the digital leap by cultivating a digital transformation mindset among these businesses and enabling them to accelerate their digitalisation journey. As is, SMEs are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy and their digitalisation is forecasted to add US$19 bil to US$24 bil to the country's GDP by 2024.

Running from 11-13 August 2020,the Summit expects to host up to 100,000 participants who will join various digital panel discussions, conferences, workshops, and training clinics that are organised in collaboration with the event’s 60 partners. 

Various multinational companies and local enterprises will be joining the Summit, including MAXIS, Digi, Amazon Web Services and DELL Technologies. There will be a total of 12 panel sessions, featuring discussions on 10 areas of digitalisation and how they can be applied across 10 key business sectors, will be conducted throughout the event period. 

“COVID-19, in many ways, reinforced the reality of why digitalisation is more than just a buzzword,  as it  is now crucial  for  Malaysian SMEs  to operate in  a  technology-dependent ecosystem. We  saw  how  new  and  different  digital  technologies  helped  businesses  sustain their operations during the movement control order,” said MDEC CEO Surina Shukri. 

“However, digitalisation is not a feat that can be accomplished in silos. MDEC stands ready to support our SMEs with upskilling capabilities, knowledge development and insightful guidance–all  of  which  will  help them to better embrace  digital  adoption. 

These are  crucial  for  our businesses to prosper since they will encourage SMEs to take that digital leap forward. More importantly, they will be more inclined to tap into new market opportunities and even engage the US$300  bil potential  that  the ASEAN Internet Economy offers. This  will accelerate Malaysia’s efforts in expanding its digital economy and further ensure shared prosperity for all,” she added.

The SME Digital Summit will inaugurate MDEC’s #SayaDigital Month, an initiative designed to  accelerate the  growth  of a  digital society  in Malaysia.  The month-long  campaign aims to expand digital competence and adoption among all Malaysians, empowering them to navigate the new normal within society and business. 

The first two weeks of the month will focus on driving  digital  businesses,  while the second  half  of  the  month will  provide  opportunities  for Malaysians to learn and enhance their digital skills. As the first of many major events taking place in August, the SME Digital Summit will be the launchpad  for Malaysian businesses  to  learn,  understand  and  appreciate  the  concept  of digitalisation. 

Ultimately, the goal of the SME Digital Summit – as well as the broader 100 Go Digital initiative – is to embolden Malaysian businesses to embrace digital transformation so they will be fully equipped for ongoing and upcoming disruptions.

Kicking off this event is a panel discussion entitled –‘Malaysia sebagai Nadi Digital ASEAN’ (‘Malaysia  is  the  Heart  of  Digital  ASEAN’), featuring  Datuk  Suriani  Ahmad, Secretary General, Ministry  of  Communications  and  Multimedia; Datuk  Wira Dr Hj Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff, Chairman, MDEC; and Chow Sang Hoe, Ernst & Young ASEAN Consulting Leader, as panelists.

They will be discussing how SME digitalisation efforts can be scaled to help more local SMEs with their digitalisation journey and the role Malaysia will play as the critical driver of the digital economy for Southeast Asia.

Besides  providing  industry  insights on current  topics  and  expert  knowledge  on  business solutions, the SME Digital Summit  also offers an avenue for participants to expand  their business network. 

Attendees will have the chance to meet industry peers, exchange solutions and  create  potential  collaborations  to  grow  their  businesses  through  the webinars  and workshops. This is truly an invaluable networking opportunity as offline trade events currently faces a slowdown.

A  part  of MDEC’s 100 Go Digital campaign, this  extension aims  to  increase  digital literacy, facilitate digital  adoption for SMEs and increase engagement between key players in the ecosystem.

These  include information-sharing  sessions, focused panel sessions as well as business matching and networking opportunities. In addition to the summit, MDEC, together with Bank Simpanan Nasional and SME Bank, are encouraging businesses to digitalise by applying for the SME Business Digitalisation Grant (SBDG), where a company will be matched with a 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 for the subscription of approved digital services.

Meanwhile, the Smart Automation Grant (SAG) is aimed at SMEs  and mid-tier  companies in the  services  sector to kickstart their digital adoption journey. Each successful SAG application will receive up to 50% of the total project cost,  subject  to  a  ceiling  limit  up  to  RM200,000  or,  whichever  is  the  lowest,  through  this matching grant.

To sign up for the SME Digital Summit or to learn more, visit www.smedigitalsummit.com.

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