Photo - (From left) Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC, Dato' Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of MDEC, unveil the numbers to media in Kuala Lumpur.
National ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has now officially released the numbers for MSC (Multimedia Supercorridor) performance for the year 2016.
Speaking to media in Kuala Lumpur, MDEC chief executive officer Dato' Yasmin Mahmood said that Malaysia, despite a challenging operating environment, has continued to see high investment growth from MSC Malaysia status companies with new investments scoring a record high for the second year in growth.
Yasmin reported significant growth for the year 2016, echoing general national economic growth. "New investments of RM16.3 (US$3.68) billion of which RM6.43 (US$1.45) billion were from new investors; breaking the record for the second year in a row."
"The reported amount from existing investors is at RM9.84 (US$2.22) billion which is a promising number despite today's challenging economic landscape," she said.
"We are very proud of the achievements last year" Yasmin commented. "Our strategy to lead the Digital Economy is paying off and we have seen a positive, healthy year from MSC-status companies in Malaysia with record new investment and strong investment numbers from new investors."
Double-digit growth for exports
"It is encouraging to see a positive growth across all clusters. Not only did the CCT cluster exceed the RM1 billion mark, Infotech's growth surpassed the Global Business Services (GBS) cluster with a 26 per cent growth, recording the highest contribution to growth yet," said Yasmin.
She said Malaysia recorded "a steady increase in export sales from MSC companies with an 18 per cent growth from 2015, with a contribution of RM19.1 (US$4.31) billion. The Creative Content and Technology (CCT) cluster recorded the highest growth in export sales with a contribution of RM1.17 billion (US$260 million) to the total export sales in 2016."
Meanwhile, MDEC's GAIN programme, which recently pointed out potential in Asean, has started to see early wins. One of these is IX Telecom, which provides service management to Fortune 500 companies in more than 200 countries.
Export made up of 40 per cent out of the total revenue recorded, with Asia Pacific being the main export destination, followed by Europe. In addition, local MSC companies recorded a 21 per cent increase in export sales.
Yasmin said that "despite uncertain economic conditions, 2016 has witnessed a tenfold increase in investments for niche focus areas since 2014. This includes focus areas like eCommerce, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud & Data Centre, Big Data Analytics (BDA) and Security. These focus areas contributed RM3.7 billion (US$830 million) to the total export sales last year, a 38 per cent growth from 2015."
"eCommerce saw the favourable growth last year, which brings us a step closer towards our vision of doubling the eCommerce growth rate and reach a GDP contribution of RM211 [US$47.60] billion by 2020," she noted. "With the eCommerce roadmap in place, we believe that we can achieve this goal. MDEC surely is not sitting on our laurels; instead, we will continue to drive the numbers and grow nation's economy through eCommerce."
National IT industry association, PIKOM, announced a new industry chapter to further support Malaysia's eCommerce expansion into the region.
MDEC and other industry leaders recently offered in-depth insights across the different trends expected this year (see What's really in store for Malaysia's IT industry in 2017).
'Internet Economy' in 2017
As Yasmin noted in a recent in-depth interview with Computerworld Malaysia, the focus for 2017 is on making this "the Year of the Internet Economy." (See Deep Dive into Malaysia's Digital Economy Part 1 and Part 2.)
She affirmed that MDEC will continue to adapt and diversify MSC Malaysia Cybercentres, with the setting up of new Digital Hubs. "Malaysia Digital Hub will act as a catalyst to build a robust startup ecosystem in the nation. This will include building startup ecosystems with the necessary hard infrastructure offerings such as high speed broadband to enable growth of the internet economy."
The latest edition of this article can be found at Computerworld Malaysia.