The budget announcement was necessary to spur Malaysia's growth and transition into a future ready economy, said Cisco Malaysia managing director, Yuri Wahab, who welcomed the initiatives to spur the SME sector. "SMEs will be able to capitalise on the funds to invest in the right technology solutions and infrastructure, like video conferencing and cloud, as they work to enhance productivity, efficiency and success amidst the fast-changing industrial landscape."
Wahab also welcomed the GTFS to further boost the production and utilisation of green technology-based products. "This will indeed encourage greater participation by local companies to offer and adopt green technology solutions, especially energy efficient data centres, as well as the creative use of networking for energy conservation. This would in turn contribute to Malaysia's fundamental aim of reducing its carbon emissions by 40 percent by the year 2020."
IT power solutions provider APC by Schneider Electric's vice president, Malaysia, John Atherton, said: "As Malaysian consumers, businesses and the economy become more reliant on technology, it is crucial for SMEs to invest in responsible IT for bottom-line profitability, and to stay competitive within their respective industries."
"The RM1 billion [US$327 million] SME development allocation is an opportunity for SMEs to deploy energy efficient and scalable IT infrastructure that can fully integrate with their business needs," said Atherton. "For instance, simple no-cost decisions made in the design of IT infrastructures can result in savings of 20-50 percent of the electrical bill, and with systematic effort, up to 90 percent of the electrical bill can be avoided."
“This is really exciting news,” said energy management firm Schneider Electric's Malaysia country president Peter Cave. “The support from the government not only cements the commitment for a greener economy, but will also encourage businesses to invest in green technology. This is a boon to businesses looking to invest in energy efficiency solutions to achieve business sustainability and long term financial gains.”
'The best since 1995'
MOL Global's Group chief executive officer Ganesh Kumar Bangah said the Budget 2013 proposals would holistically fill the gaps in Malaysia's ICT ecosystem. "These are great policies to promote the information and communication and technology [ICT] industry," he said.
"The government's move to encouraging alternative sources of funding at the early stage of business through the incentive of providing a tax deduction equal to the amount of investment made by an angel investor in a early stage businesses is applauded as this will provide an effective mechanism of filling the funding gap between early stage startup and growth businesses," said Bangah.
"In addition, the policy to enable SMEs to further expand their businesses by using intellectual property rights [IPR] as collateral to obtain financing is another creative and innovative policy to further build high growth companies that have potential but do not have hard assets such as properties to use as collateral," he said. "All in all, this basket of policies for the ICT industry in the 2013 Budget is the best gift that the government has given to the Malaysian ICT Industry since the formation of the Multimedia Super Corridor in 1995."
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