Businesses urged to pursue digitalisation even with rollout of vaccination programme

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25): Businesses must constantly adapt to the new norms, including through digitalisation, rather than just relying on vaccines as a solution, Department of Statistics Malaysia chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said.

He said the national vaccine rollout would definitely help to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing more economic sectors to resume and perhaps gradually permitting international borders to reopen.

“Nevertheless, businesses should not look at the vaccines as a solution and they should continuously adapt to the new norms.

“With the rapid pace of e-commerce adoption due to physical distancing and lockdown measures, digitalisation is unquestionably the way forward,” he said in a statement today.

Hence, Mohd Uzir said, the recently launched holistic Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint was opportune as it outlined focus areas of digitalisation, including nurturing talents, providing a safe and secure digital environment, and growing focus areas within the economic sectors.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the MyDIGITAL initiative and the blueprint on Friday last week.

During the launch, he said that come 2025, the digital economy was expected to contribute 22.6 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product.

Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir reiterated that the Malaysian economy was set to show a healthier outlook in the months ahead based on the Leading Index's (LI) performance which rose to 108.8 points in December 2020 from 101.6 points in December 2019, sustaining an annual growth of 7.1 per cent since November 2020.

“As countries around the world including Malaysia are in the process of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Malaysia along with the global economy is expected to return to positive growth in 2021,” he said.

According to the World Economic Outlook Update released by the International Monetary Fund in January 2021, the global economy is projected to improve by 5.5 per cent in 2021 and 4.2 per cent in 2022 after slower economic activity due to mitigation actions to contain the pandemic in 2020.

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