The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry is one of the few sectors that has seen strong growth since the pandemic. In 2021, the most recent complete year data available, , ICT contributed 23.2% to Malaysia’s GDP and is projected to rise to 25.5% by 2025. The government and private sector in Malaysia are in the process of embracing a country-wide digital transformation. The digitalization of operations across all major industrial sectors will be a decisive factor in securing Malaysia’s role in the future global economy.
To support this nationwide vision, the Malaysian government launched the MyDIGITAL initiative as part of the Malaysia Economy Digital Economy Blueprint. This initiative is part of the government’s plans to transform Malaysia into a digitally driven, high-income nation and a regional leader in the digital economy by 2030. Through the government’s Cloud First strategy under the MyDIGITAL blueprint, Malaysia looks to enhance its capabilities as a regional data hub, welcoming investment in data centers. The best market entry for U.S. companies is through local partners and distributors.
According to the Fortinet report, Malaysia recorded 57.8 million virus attacks during the first quarter of 2022, which accounted for 1.1 percent of global cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity is one of the critical priories across sectors in Malaysia. The government of Malaysia is committed to ensuring a safe and secured cyberspace by enhancing the country’s cyber security capabilities on all fronts. To this end, the government launched the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) 2020-2024 with an allocation of an equivalent to $434 million to step up national cybersecurity preparedness and upgrade the country’s cybersecurity measures.
As the global pandemic has pushed more companies to go digital, demand for cybersecurity protection has dramatically increased. Cybersecurity is required to keep organizations safe as they move to digital platforms, and organizations must embrace new security technologies to address the risks. One unique opportunity is embedding new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the next platform in cybersecurity solutions. Identifying the right Cybersecurity technology and partnering with the right vendors with expertise opens opportunities for U.S. Cybersecurity exporters to provide solutions in this region.
The government is working towards setting up a national Cybersecurity Commission and amending laws on protecting personal data to counter scammers. Having a specific Cybersecurity law would allow the National Cybersecurity Agency (NASCA) of the National Security Council to have clear powers to monitor and enforce laws pertaining to Cybersecurity.
Data Systems Integration & Emerging Digital Technologies
Data systems integration is a critical tool in driving Malaysian government plans. Those initiatives aim to accelerate digitalization across all industrial sectors by implementing digital technologies such as AI, the Internet of Things (lOT), Big Data Analytics (BDA), and cloud computing. Emerging technologies, including robotic process automation, virtual reality, digital payment, 5G technologies, and blockchain, are developing rapidly in Malaysia to accelerate digital transformation in all sectors. Demand for these digital tools in Malaysia is high, creating export opportunities for U.S. companies.
The government is offering wide-ranging incentives to encourage the adoption of digital technologies. These incentives include tax breaks for the E&E sector and related intellectual property, automation equipment capital allowance for services, incentives for digitalization and innovation efforts, and a $4.6 billion Industry Digitalization Transformation Fund.
Smart City Technologies
Another significant opportunity lies within the development of Smart Cities. Smart and Sustainable Solutions, Smart Planning, and Smart Infrastructure and Technologies are the three main pillars of Smart Cities. Smart Cities is an essential government of Malaysia initiative that incorporates various leading industry sectors, such as ICT, Healthcare, Energy, Environment, transportation, and infrastructure. Smart Cities initiatives touch on critical policy issues, such as 5G and cybersecurity, in both the private and public sectors.
Cyber Defense, Emerging Technology Event (CYDES) - TBC
World Congress on Information (WCIT) - TBC
Singapore Fintech Festival TBC
Resources of Malaysian Government Authorities & Guidelines