In today’s era of rapid digital disruption, Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is expecting the country’s employment rate within the digital economy sector to exceed the global average by 2025.
Speaking at the opening of the Asia Pacific Services Symposium 2017, MITI Secretary General Datuk Seri J Jayasiri on behalf of International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said that the growth in this industry will be stimulated by continuous investment and robust development in the digital technology.
While he did not mention specific figures that will help the progress, the government along with all stakeholders need to collaborate together in designing particular digital strategies as well as promoting comprehensive efforts, which can be used to facilitate the transition for our economies especially in human capital.
According to the ministry’s official partner, the Asean Service Providers Confederation (ASPC), the employment rate within the digital economy sector has underperformed its global peers. This figure mostly can be seen particularly in the trading activities of the services and manufacturing sectors in Malaysia, as well as in other Asia-Pacific countries.
ASPC co-convenor Jane Drake-Brockman said that the bulk of new jobs in the Asia-Pacific economic region are coming from the digital economy space since the last two decades. She also added that the digital services are now the lifeblood of the new economic frontiers, which makes it have tremendous opportunities to unlock in the near future.
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While there are fluctuating statistics shown on the official data of employment rate within the digital economy space, data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development indicated that more than 60 percent of those using software at work every day actually did not possess the right skills required to use digital technologies effectively. Furthermore, local data from Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) revealed that employment within the digital economy space has developed by five percent to 167,044 jobs created in 2016, from a year ago.
Mr Jayasiri said that as Malaysia is on the process of “boldly advancing” into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the services and manufacturing sectors continue to be central to the future growth of the nation. The country will allocate funds in excess of RM1 billion (US$236 million) to encourage more activities and development within these sectors through digital economy initiatives, The Edge Markets reports.
Currently contributing to around 17 percent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP), the ministry expects the GDP from digital economy sector to surpass 20 percent by 2020. On the global front, Mr Jayasiri said the services sector now makes up about 70 percent of the world’s GDP, 60 percent of global employment, and 46 percent of global exports.
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