Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At Sharing Economy Conference Penang 2018
St. Giles Wembley, George Town, Penang
6 September 2018
Yang Berhormat Tuan Eddin Syazlee Shith,
Deputy Minister of Communications & Multimedia Malaysia
Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon
Special Investment Advisor to the Chief Minister of Penang and Director of InvestPenang
Dato’ Ng Wan Peng
Chief Operating Officer, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
Ms. April Rinne
Head of Sharing Economy Working Group , World Economic Forum
Members of the press
Distinguished Guests and Speakers
Introduction: Penang in the Digital and Sharing Economy
Good afternoon. I wish to thank the organisers of Sharing Economy Conference Penang 2018 – the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and collaborative partner investPenang for organizing and inviting me to speak and officiate at this event today. The conference today further solidifies Penang as a hub for innovation and creativity after MDEC’s Crowd Economy Conference held last year which attracted more than 300 participants.
Penang is indeed the right choice to be selected to host this conference. BBC cited Penang as Asia’s next Silicon Valley, and highlighted Penang’s success in punching well above its weight in the tech world. Penang envisions to attract more Global Business Services (GBS) companies, and to continue to partake in high value manufacturing with Industry 4.0 focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics as well as to encourage start-ups development in the State.
The Sharing Economy
The rapid advancement in digital technology has enabled businesses and corporations to innovate and create new business models comprising of new approaches. Indeed, the new ABCs of today’s world is Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Cloud Computing. I understand that Malaysia is projecting the value of the sharing economy to reach RM17billion by 2020, while globally the value is expected to grow 30% yearly to US$3.1 trillion by 2025.
The Penang State Government, via InvestPenang, collaborated and supported this effort by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to make aware to corporations in Penang, of the emerging trends of the sharing economy and how corporations and individuals in Penang can participate and leverage on the trend.
The Penang State Government also wishes to applaud the effort by YB Gobind Singh Deo, Minister of Communications and Multimedia and his ministry which encourages faster Internet speed at a much lower rate for Malaysia. We are positive that this will enhance business productivity in Penang and Malaysia, and solidifies Malaysia as a destination of choice for investors. Participants of the sharing economy as those present today require wider Internet access and better speed as an important enabler to accelerate the growth of their business.
Many participants in the conference today are from the start-up community. I hope to see more start-ups in Penang partake in the sharing economy models and take the opportunity to identify gaps that can be solved by your start-up company. In October 2015, Penang launched the @CAT (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics & Technology) at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, in CBD Heritage Zone of George Town. This initiative, overseen by InvestPenang, provides a platform for technopreneurs to “accelerate” their business from ideas to market. Particularly popular with the Gen Ys, this program has attracted designers and creators in software, apps, digital creative art and IoT devices.
On 10 March 2018, the Penang State Government established the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund with an allocation of USD 1 million. The objectives are to spur participation in the Industry 4.0 revolution and digital economy that is shaping our world today. The i4.0 Seed Fund provides funding for qualified high potential early stage technology start-ups. I am pleased to note that three weeks ago, the first stream of 16 companies were successfully awarded with RM1.67 million from the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund. Indeed, many of these companies are participants in the sharing economy. These companies are involved in a range of business activities that include software, e-commerce, inventory systems, membership platform, tech design, job matching, support services, drive-thru services, monetisation assistance, and combinations of IoT, sensors and tracking systems.
In closing, I would like to thank MDeC and investPenang for making this conference possible, Ms. April Rinne from the World Economic Forum and Mr. Ali Salman from IDEAS, who will be sharing their thoughts and experience. I hope that the audience will participate actively and find opportunities to network in this conference.