Tremendous economic opportunities in digital era

Yasmin speaking to audiences at the 2017 South Asia’s Creative Conference. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: There are tremendous opportunities for young Malaysians, as well as the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the digital era to improve their economy and income.

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, said young Malaysians could leverage the digital tools that they familiar with for economic purpose.

“Opportunities for the young ones are tremendous because they are already familiar with the digital tools like Instagram, Facebook and others.

“We are now telling them, instead of using the tools for social use, they can be used to improve economy and income level,” she told Bernama.

Yasmin said digital entrepreneurship could generate high income stream and it was proven that e-commerce could give so much improvement and leapfrogging business access for young Malaysians and the SMEs.

“We have people becoming millionaires through our e-Usahawan programme. There are many cases whereby within a year with e-Usahawan and e-commerce export programme, the SME entrepreneurs’ income reportedly surged four times and increasing.”

Through MDEC’s e-Rezeki, participants were given exposure to the online platforms to secure jobs, she added.

“In the digital era, many companies placed jobs on online platform that is accessible globally. Through e-Rezeki, we have showed how youngsters in the villages with technical, creative or linguistic skills can offer virtual assistance and get paid by companies operating globally. These are the new phenomena that are made possible with digital innovation,” she said.

Besides that, Yasmin said ground surveys by agencies under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry had found that Malaysian entrepreneurs and SMEs could capitalise on e-commerce to expand market boundaries.

“When SME Corp, MATRADE (Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation) and MDEC went down on the ground, we found that the SMEs have very good products. While they are currently selling the products with simple marketing strategy, via farmers’ market, night market or Sunday market, selling within their community, we are exposing them to e-commerce opportunity so they can expand market access beyond their villages and states,” she said.

Some of the SMEs have now penetrated the national market in the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak, and vice versa, and to the neighbouring countries like Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia.

“Ultimately, when they know how to use e-commerce and improve product capacity, we will expose them to export opportunity.

“The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) launched by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) is all about export opportunity,” she said.

With DFTZ, Yasmin said Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things plus other digital innovations would impact on e-commerce, and provide physical and virtual zones to facilitate the SMEs to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the Internet economy and cross-border activities.

She also urged Malaysians to try the ‘Go e-commerce’ online platform at www.goecommerce.my, a dedicated one-stop business resource online centre to guide the SMEs in e-commerce adoption.

Meanwhile, on the issue of costly cross-border shipping fees at present, Yasmin said the SMEs should export from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to everywhere in the world.

“That’s why we want to bring the efficiency in our logistics ecosystem with e-commerce and logistics hub in DFTZ. With efficiency, comes lower cost,” she said. — Bernama

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