How Malaysia Government Budget 2017 is Encouraging Business to go Digital to Spur Economic Growth
You will agree with me that the whole world is going digital. Any economy that wants to remain relevant should streamline itself towards digitization. The world has become a small village where people interact and trade through the internet. No economy can record significant growth unless they support businesses to go digital.
One of the instruments the government can use to take businesses online is the budget. Study government budgets all over the world and you will discover that they are putting more emphasis on internet connectivity. Malaysia is not an exemption when it comes to this reasoning. This article focuses on how Malaysia government budget 2017 is encouraging business to go digital.
The Malaysian government budget for the 2017 fiscal year reveals a strong support for e-commerce. As the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tabled his budget on 21st October 2016, his focus on digital business was quite evident.
The budget has an allocation of 39 million US dollars for developing an e-commerce eco system through the assistance of the Malaysian Digital economy corporation. This allocation will also assist Malaysia to introduce a digital hub and develop a digital maker movement.
The main intention of the digital maker movement is to transform Malaysian youth from being digital users to becoming digital producers. Malaysia intends to achieve this objective through the collaboration of academia, the private sector and public sector. The primary intention of this initiative is to enhance digital business within the region. However, it will depend on how you position yourself in this digital world.
One thing you will agree with me is that the youthful population is very active when it comes to visiting the internet. There is no better way to the Malaysian budget to promote digital business unless it targets the youth. According to the budgetary plan, e-commerce should make a contribution of 18.2 percent to the gross domestic product of Malaysia by 2020.
The economy cannot achieve such ambitious targets unless it provides a suitable environment that supports digital trading. Some of the policy initiatives are developing skills by improving the inclusion of ICT in the learning curriculum. The digital maker movement will play a critical role of creating an enabling environment that will allow the youth to take advantage of the disruption.
The government also has the plans of creating a digital free zone. It intends to achieve this objective by merging the virtual with the physical. This will be the first digital zone in the whole world. It will provide digital and online services that will facilitate international digital trading and promote internet based innovations.
The most important component of base infrastructure is enhancing connectivity over the whole region. According to the 2017 Malaysian budget speech, the government will support providers of fixed line broadband to offer high speed services at the same cost. These investments will double the speed of the internet within the region to promote online trading.
According to the budget, the speed will double again after two years. The enhanced speed will come with a 50 percent price reduction. Such an approach will encourage the small and medium size enterprises to appreciate the role of e-commerce in the economy.
According to the prime minister, the Malaysian budget cannot support digitization without looking at coverage. The communications and multi-media commission of Malaysia will provide 241 million dollars to enhance the quality and coverage of the broadband. The main intention is to enhance internet speed up to 20 megabytes per second.
Another critical strategy of the government is inclusive growth. The government intends to improve the living standards of 40 percent of the population. The target group is those who operate at the bottom of the pyramid. The budgetary allocation to this initiative is 66 million dollars. Part of this allocation will be used to revitalize the eRezeki and eUsahawan programs. These programs have over 30000 followers and are under the Malaysian digital economy corporation.
Therefore, the budgetary allocation will go a big way in encouraging Malaysian businesses to go digital. eUsahawan is an online entrepreneurial initiative whose aim is to assist the public to enhance the growth of online business. On the contrary, the eRezeki program is an initiative that is based on the crowd-sourcing concept whose objective is to connect low income earners to online income opportunities.
The organizers take participants through a thorough training on online trading techniques. Once the candidates qualify, the organizers link them with suitable and available online income generating engagements. This helps them to acquire new skill and earn additional income. It is the best way to equip the Malaysian population in coping with the advancements in the digital market.
The government through the budget also plans to introduce a new pass category that is known as Foreign Knowledge Tech entrepreneurs. The aim of this budgetary policy is to promote high technological startups within the region. This is the best way to expand the available talent pool in the country’s technological sector.
Having gone through the budget, you will discover that it has several provisions that encourage business to go digital. Plans to increase speed at reduced prices will increase efficiency of online trading within the region. The best way to ensure online success is improving the turnaround time of all business transactions.
The budget proposes a more steady supply of internet to eliminate down-times. Traders will go online once they are sure that it will assist them to enhance customer relations. With low cost internet services, investors will be sure of profit maximization.
Malaysia has several budgets from the time of its inception. The 2017 budget is among the best when it comes to promoting e-commerce. The world is going digital and Malaysia should not be left behind. It is your responsibility as a citizen to take advantage of these advantages.
As a person, it will be meaningless for the economy to grow but you don’t benefit. These benefits will only trickle down to those who position themselves strategically in this digital economy. The approach will lead to the overall growth of the whole economy.