SME Association Malaysia president Ding Hong Sing said without government support, SMEs would not be able to adopt and use digitalisation in their businesses. He suggested that the government hire foreign experts to train industry players.

“If you want SMEs to be able to use IR4.0 or high-end digital technology, the government should train micro and SMEs to improve productivity,” Ding said.“SMEs need to be taught. Coffee shop owners for example won’t be able to use the technology if there is no training provided. Get foreign experts to train them here. It may take two to four years but it is the fastest way.” Ding said there were 1.4 million SMEs in Malaysia with 76% of the businesses in micro industries.

Last year, Malaysia’s e-commerce value soared 33% to RM896 billion after registering an income of RM675 billion in 2019, according to latest data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Majority of them used technologies on social media (60%) and mobile internet (63.8%) while only a small minority explored frontier technologies like data analytics (6.3%). 

A study conducted by SME Association of Malaysia revealed that only 26% of SMEs had chosen digital technologies as their main post-pandemic growth strategy. The majority of SMEs (57%) have not even started digitalising their business.

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