Gov't approves two digital hubs in Bangsar for start-up tech firms

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW


KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry, through the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), has undertaken the digital hub development initiative as a means to provide a conducive ecosystem and work space for start-up companies.

Its minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said to date, two such digital hubs have been approved, namely APW on Jalan Riong, and The Co. on Lengkok Abdullah, both in Bangsar.

“The initiative is supported by global technology companies, accelerator companies and talent agencies to operate.

“Aside from offering high-speed broadband facilities and the latest environmental facilities, these locations also offer access to mentorship programmes and coaching, as well as capital market to start-ups,” he told the Dewan Negara today.

Salleh was responding to a question by Senator Dr Zaiedj Suhaili, who wanted to know the measures taken to realise the digital economy in the country and the total investments.

Salleh said according to the Statistics Department, the country's digital economy contributed 17.8 per cent to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, and this is expected to grow to 18.2 per cent in 2020.

On the investments which have come in, Salleh said between 1996 and 2016, the total foreign and domestic investments recorded were RM304 billion, with foreign investments making up 44 per cent.

“Among the global companies we have successfully attracted last year are Luxoft, a leader in information and communications technology (ICT) solutions in the automotive sector; the Medicines Company, which has opened a medical hub using the Internet of Things technology; and Namco Bandai, a global gaming company which has opened a visual arts production hub in the country.

“The investments have helped to provide 167,044 job opportunities.

“And based on the growth of the digital economy sector, it is expected that some one million jobs such as coders, application developers, software engineers and other digital workers will be in demand by 2025,” he said.