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Malaysia to Help SMEs Adopt Industry 4.0 Tech Capabilities

SMEs Adaptation of Industry 4.0 Technology in Malaysia

The necessity to innovate, evolve, and be more technology-literate has not been lost on the emerging economies across Asia. This is especially true of countries that aim to meet Industry 4.0 standards.

However, Small and medium businesses (SMEs) are struggling to evolve and are unaware of their role in driving economic growth amid the digital disruption.

Thus, in an effort to get these SMEs on the right track and help them embrace technology, government interventions are being pushed forward.

Malaysia, in particular, shows no signs of slowing down regarding realizing its digitalization and transformation agenda.

Recently, the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) and the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) agreed to collaborate.

Through their partnership, 100 micro-enterprises and SMEs will receive training to understand digital solutions and develop technology capabilities.

A program called the ‘MED-MTDC Industry 4.0 SME Accelerator Programme’ has been launched with the aim to get at least 50 of the participating SMEs to meet the standards of Industry 4.0.

Enterprises that have achieved the Industry 4.0 standards will be contributing to the program by sharing their knowledge and experience to help SMEs realize the unlimited growth potential simply by going digital.

Further, local technology providers that possess expertise within the space of Industry 4.0 solutions will be actively involved as well in helping SMEs achieve and scale their commercialization targets.

The country is evidently keen on delivering on expectations and has been using proactive measures to mentor local SMEs to be more aligned with the industrial revolution needs.

This is because new-age technologies will present significant challenges to businesses and SMEs that are unprepared will ultimately fall behind.

SMEs’ adaptation to Industry 4.0 technology in Malaysia will increase their capabilities to face market challenges in both local and international markets, the MED Secretary-General stated.

It is important that SMEs respond to these changes by improving traditionally manual processes to gain speed, efficiency, and productivity – all important features of an advanced, adaptive and highly capable business.

By automating and digitalizing processes to scale efficiency and elevate productivity, SMEs will inevitably gain a competitive edge.

Local SMEs now cannot just focus on marketing and production solely for the local market but must ensure their products, as well as services, are able to penetrate the global market.

AR and VR add value to training across key industries. Malaysia has promoted impressive digital growth and maturity this year with progressive transformation programs and strategic incentives offerings.

Overall, it is hoped that more Asian countries will scale their efforts in going digital and develop greater technology capabilities to elevate the global market standards of the region.

In November 2019, OpenGov Asia reported that Malaysia is keen to push SMEs to be digitally-enabled and technologically equipped to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world.

The government aims to achieve these goals by the year 2022, in line with governmental efforts to empower a digital society.

The government has prioritized digitalization efforts among SMEs to maintain relevance, maximize business efficiency, and increase productivity.

There is also a strong focus on digital payment capabilities as the country believes that enabling the service is a crucial first step to digitalization.

As a result, the government is working closely with banks to offer SMEs a seamless and interoperable integration with banking systems.

For example, one bank has put forward a set of application programming interfaces (API) to assist in automating payments and reconciling accounts for SMEs, further extending the availability of digital support.

Thus, the government is developing and supporting taking on multiple initiatives to get businesses to leverage viable solutions that will help automate operational processes and achieve digital proficiency.


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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


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