Photo - (From left) Erman Akinci, Common Ground; Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); YBhg. Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Secretary General of Treasury; Andrew Tan, The Co.; and Ee Soon Wei, APW
National ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, MDEC, has recently unveiled another initiative to provide both local and foreign startups and entrepreneurs with the connections and dynamic workspace to drive rapid growth.
The move, which follows the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ)' involves the introduction of the 'Malaysia Digital Hub' and Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme. These are part of an acceleration towards the Digital Economy goal, said Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, MDEC's chief executive officer.
"Malaysia is gradually gaining interests from startups and entrepreneurs worldwide," added Yasmin. "Located at the heart of ASEAN, Malaysia is able to connect businesses to a regional market of more than 625 million people."
"With the introduction of Malaysia Digital Hub [which has been trademarked] and MTEP, the local and global tech startup communities can now leverage these benefits that our country has to offer," she said. "We believe this will help to strengthen Malaysia's position as a global hub for startups and entrepreneurs."
Yasmin explained that the Malaysia Digital Hub will support tech and digital co-working spaces, their startups and communities with support from the government and a bigger opportunity to connect to ASEAN and global digital ecosystems.
Officiating at the announcement, YBhg. Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, secretary general of Treasury, Ministry of Finance, comments included: "A startup journey is both rewarding and challenging. Realising this, we have been working with MDEC and private sectors to structure the Malaysia Digital Hub."
"There is no doubt that Malaysia is committed to grow technology-related startup companies in this country. We hope that these efforts will continue to get the support from the startup community as well as private sectors" said Dr. Mohd Irwan.
How the Malaysia Digital Hub works
MDEC's Yasmin then said Malaysia wanted to also become a hub for tech startups, which was why the Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme (MTEP) - a government initiative - has been added to attract "gifted and ambitious individuals from all around the world, and help them to kickstart their startups in Malaysia."
She can confirmed that under the MTEP, both "new and established entrepreneurs from all over the world are encouraged to apply if they wish to set-up their startup in Malaysia. The application process will take up to 21 days."
Yasmin said that the Malaysia Digital Hub will work by offering startups the opportunity for global expansion, ready access to high-speed broadband and fibre optic connectivity, funding and facilitation opportunities, workforce-ready ecosystem, technologically focused and a holistic convenience and lifestyle experience.
While it encourages the participation from all tech startups, Malaysia Digital Hub focuses on four categories - growing startups, global tech companies, accelerators and talent builders and investors.
The incentives include:
- Corporate tax exemptions for the tech startups
- Malaysia Tech Entrepreneurs Programme that issues passes for individuals who want to set up or expand their businesses into Malaysia
- Access to funding
- Coaching and mentorship
- Low cost of doing business
- High-speed broadband
- Stable business-friendly environment
- Freedom of ownership for foreign companies for investors
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