In an era of rapid digital transformation, Malaysia recognises the importance of equipping its youth with the necessary skills to thrive in the digital economy. To address this crucial need, a strategic partnership has been formed to empower the next generation through youth skills development.
This alliance brings together key stakeholders from the government, the private sector, educational institutions and industry experts to collaborate on initiatives that enhance digital competencies among Malaysian youth.
The initiative aims to bridge the digital skills gap by offering comprehensive programmes that cater to the specific needs of Malaysian youth. It focuses on equipping them with the essential digital skills required for success in the modern workforce.
By developing a strong foundation in areas such as coding, data analytics, digital marketing and emerging technologies, youth will be ready to take on the challenges and opportunities in Malaysia’s digital economy.
The plans encompass a range of strategies, such as training programmes, mentorship opportunities, industry collaborations and granting access to digital resources. They not only foster technical skills but also emphasise critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and entrepreneurship.
Envisioning a future where Malaysian youth lead the way in innovation and contribute to the growth and competitiveness of the digital economy, the partnership strives to empower the next generation with these essential skills. By doing so, they not only aim to fulfil the career aspirations of the youth but also ensure their active participation in driving the nation’s progress.
Fostering Youth Skills in Malaysia’s Digital Economy
Ir Ts Dr Aziyati Yusoff, Head of Strategic Partnership for Youth Skills Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, emphasises Malaysia’s commitment to bridging the digital skills gap among its youth and aligning them with the demands of the digital economy.
With a forward-thinking approach, she acknowledges the significance of embracing new paradigms and perspectives to stay relevant in an ever-evolving digital landscape. By recognising the need to adapt and equip the younger generation with the necessary skills, Malaysia is poised to nurture a workforce that can effectively contribute to the country’s digital transformation and global competitiveness.
“Currently ranked 33rd in technological advancement, Malaysia aspires to become a regional leader,” Dr Aziyati reveals. “While physical platforms have been emphasised, other factors like education integration, cultural wellness, societal maturity, and economic stability are also important.”
Malaysia acknowledges the significance of coding and technical skills but also places value on soft skills and adaptability. School programmes in the country emphasise a well-rounded approach by incorporating STEM activities, innovation competitions, and even sports to enhance social interaction and problem-solving abilities.
This holistic approach ensures that Malaysian youth not only develop technical proficiency but also cultivate essential interpersonal skills, creativity, and the ability to adapt to various challenges. By nurturing a balanced skill set, Malaysia aims to prepare its youth for the multifaceted demands of the digital era, where both technical expertise and soft skills play integral roles in success.
Dr Aziyati acknowledges the importance of coding classes in Malaysia, recognising their role in fostering skills such as planning, problem-solving, and performance evaluation. The country’s education blueprint focuses on utilising information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance the quality of learning.
This is achieved through the implementation of online classrooms, robotics competitions, and government initiatives like the Digital MakerSpace and Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). By leveraging these platforms and programmes, Malaysia is actively promoting the integration of technology into education and empowering its youth to thrive in the digital age.
The government promotes inclusivity and equal opportunities through various initiatives that aim to provide practical platforms for knowledge and anticipate the challenges and opportunities brought by technology.
These initiatives aim for wider engagement and to create an environment where students have access to digital resources, hands-on learning experiences and opportunities to showcase their skills.
Advancements in digital technology benefit the economy by creating jobs, improving employability rates, fostering digital content creators, supporting governmental agendas and providing a return on investment.
Smart partnerships with various ministries, including the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Communications and Digital, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and Ministry of International Trade and Industry, contribute to these benefits.
“Smart partnerships ensure the relevance of training and knowledge content, while industries are open to hiring special needs graduates, offering training tailored to their abilities,” Dr Aziyati reiterates.
In the modern world, diverse cultural values and socioeconomic achievements define our lifestyles, Dr Aziyati observes. The Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint embraces the globalised nature of information systems, which facilitates cultural exchange and emphasises the impact of digital technology on societal resilience and the future-proofing of the economy.
Despite economic challenges, Malaysia’s resources and diversity have facilitated national transformations. The government understands that consistent and continuous investment in youth development through training and education is crucial for ensuring sustainable progress and national sustainability.
The education system and institutions play a crucial role in facilitating successful partnerships and collaborations. Both national and institutional levels are open to innovative ideas and opportunities for partnerships.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry supports initiatives by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education to establish partnerships with other countries. Collaboration with education institutions from countries like the UK, USA, Australia, Germany, European nations, Asian countries and APEC nations is pursued through international knowledge exchange.
Through such partnerships, a wide array of opportunities, initiatives, incentives, and projects are being implemented to benefit the citizens. These activities span various domains, including student and cultural exchange, expert sharing, technology transfer, intellectual discourse and skill mobility.
The aim is to foster mutual growth, facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise and create a dynamic environment that promotes innovation and skill development among individuals. As Malaysia promotes the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it requires a highly skilled workforce and smart citizens to attract investment for a better economy.
“To facilitate execution and foster innovation in the digital economy, proper planning and provision in the areas of manpower, machinery, and methods are crucial. Some also emphasise materials and mediums,” Dr Aziyati explains. “Youth entrepreneurs can adopt these approaches to boost productivity.”
Since 2013, the Federal Government has launched various initiatives and projects, including policies on science, technology, and innovation, IoT strategy, Smart City framework, cybersecurity, and the digital economy blueprint, with implementation planned until 2025.
Dr Aziyati agrees that expanding strategic relationships with other countries becomes easier with transparency as governance is visualised through paperless documents, faster approvals, efficient repayment methods and increased output capacity.
While online application processes are already in place, information security, cybercrime, cryptography and privacy concerns must be addressed, she reveals.
Over the past five years, Malaysia has experienced political changes and evolving government institutions. Despite these fluctuations, the youth and future generations remain focused on the impact and development of the digital economy.
“To achieve successful implementation of integrated e-governance, a nation must attain key elements such as political stability, economic prosperity, social harmony, technological modernisation, environmental sustainability, and legal strength,” Dr Aziyati opines. “These factors collectively contribute to effective governance and ensure a holistic approach towards leveraging digital technology for the betterment of society.”
Sustaining the momentum of digital economy efforts and utilising strengths and opportunities can lead to enhanced business, partnerships and economic growth. Transformation and readiness for change are key factors for success, along with incorporating fresh ideas from young minds and a skilled workforce.
Dr Aziyati is convinced that aside from financial assistance, Malaysia can secure long-term stability and progress by implementing a thorough and consistent transformation programme.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports in Malaysia is responsible for the supervision and advancement of eSports players. However, there are existing challenges concerning the welfare of developers within this domain. As a result, the ministry is actively seeking new policies and measures to address and strengthen this aspect, ensuring the well-being and support of young developers in the future.
In her new role overseeing Training Management for skills institutions, Dr Aziyati continues to prioritise partnerships with industry to promote digital technology advancement. To improve governmental institutions, she proposed the following:
- Increase budget allocations for youth in the digital economy
- Expand youth development programmes for mastering digital skills
- Provide more incentives to support youth in adapting to the fast-paced digital world
- Implement transformative programs in STEM, digital education, and school projects
- Foster flexible ideas for national digital improvements
- Reduce bureaucracy in project decision-making processes
- Encourage creativity by minimising organisational hierarchy limitations
- Minimise the use of paper forms
- The transition from old-school work delegations to foster flexibility through collaborative discussions and cooperative deliveries
To realise these improvements, both financial support and organisational adjustments are necessary.
The Ministry of Education has identified a concerning trend where nearly 50% of school leavers are choosing not to pursue higher education. This issue is influenced by several factors, including the high cost of education, a perceived lack of job guarantees, and the belief that courses offered may not provide sufficient marketability compared to the appeal of social media businesses and gig economy jobs.
Dr Aziyati feels it is crucial to conduct a study that examines the relevance of current school curricula, the courses offered by higher education institutions and the demands of industries. Recognising the interdependence among these entities is vital, as failure to address outdated education content and maintain the status quo could result in a substantial gap in producing high-quality graduates.
By understanding the evolving needs of industries and aligning educational programmes accordingly, Malaysia can ensure that its education system remains responsive, equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the demands of the job market effectively.
“To inspire young people, it is important to emphasise the importance of passion and willingness to continuously learn, improve and contribute to society,” Dr Aziyati says. “Success requires effort and perseverance, as reflected in the quote: genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
While young people may encounter misleading information and failure, it is part of the learning process. She believes that patience, persistence, and perseverance are key in this journey if one’s pursuits are beneficial to society.
Dr Aziyati strongly believes that by consistently pursuing personal growth and making significant contributions, success and recognition will naturally follow. She feels that this journey should not solely revolve around personal improvement, but also include a commitment to leaving a positive legacy for future generations.
Additionally, it is crucial to acknowledge the inherent value of the learning process itself, which cannot be easily replaced. However, Dr Aziyati acknowledges that individuals may sometimes be influenced by the opinions of others and consequently choose paths that they are not genuinely passionate about.
While quick money-making opportunities may come and go, Dr Aziyati underscores the enduring value of education and the credentials earned through hard work. She encourages individuals to prioritise long-term gains, as the knowledge and skills acquired through education will have a lasting impact throughout their lives.
“By channelling the passion of young people towards constructive and educational endeavours that bring benefits to the nation, we can unleash their potential and make meaningful contributions to their personal and societal growth,” Dr Aziyati concludes.
China Construction Bank (CCB) was recently commended by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat for reaching an important milestone in Singapore, which is evidence of the long-lasting collaboration that has developed between the two countries over the past 25 years.
The CCB is one of China’s four largest state-owned banks and is actively expanding its business abroad, with branch offices in Hong Kong, Macau, and Singapore, among other places.
In 1998, when CCB made the bold decision to establish a presence in Singapore, the Asian economies were emerging from the depths of the Asian Financial Crisis. CCB’s move to set up shop in Singapore was a bold show of faith in the future of Asia and a belief that the region was poised for a resilient comeback.
Over the years, CCB has deepened its roots in Singapore, forming vital partnerships and emerging as one of CCB’s largest overseas nodes. DPM Heng Swee Keat, who once led the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recalls productive meetings with CCB’s leadership regarding their expansion plans in the region.
This partnership led to significant milestones, including MAS upgrading CCB’s Singapore branch to a wholesale bank in 2010 and subsequently to a Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) in 2020.
The timing of this expansion is crucial, as it enables CCB to support Chinese companies looking to explore new opportunities while also contributing to the internationalisation of the renminbi.
Simultaneously, it provides invaluable support to Singaporean companies with aspirations in the Chinese market. Singapore’s status as an international financial centre ensures a plethora of growth opportunities for both CCB and Singapore.
Financial cooperation has been a cornerstone of the enduring relationship between Singapore and China. Recent upgrades in their partnership have expanded the scope of activities, going beyond traditional corporate and commercial lending to include green financing solutions, offshore debt raising, and even FinTech and innovation research in Singapore.
Regulators from both nations have joined hands to explore emerging areas like sustainable and digital finance, aiming to strengthen cross-border collaboration and deepen capital market connectivity within the region.
This is due to the rise of digital technology which has transformed the financial landscape, leading to the emergence of digital finance. This encompasses a wide range of innovations, including mobile banking, digital payments, blockchain technology, and digital currencies.
By exploring digital finance, Singapore and China are not only embracing financial technology (FinTech) but also revolutionising the way financial services are accessed and delivered. This shift has the potential to enhance financial inclusion, streamline transactions, and increase the efficiency of capital markets. Also, it opens doors to cross-border collaboration in developing and adopting cutting-edge FinTech solutions.
By strengthening capital market connectivity, these nations are not only boosting their own financial sectors but also attracting foreign investments, promoting regional economic stability, and potentially positioning themselves as hubs for sustainable and digital finance in Asia.
Innovations in digital finance and technology have revolutionised access to banking services and improved efficiency. CCB’s Fintech innovation lab in Singapore offers a platform for research, technology sharing, and the forging of new partnerships. These innovations are poised to enhance resource allocation, promoting real growth and job creation.
The collaboration between Singapore and China in these emerging areas is a strategic move to shape the financial landscape of the future, where sustainability, innovation, and cross-border cooperation will be key drivers of success.
The Minister for Finance, Minister for Women, and Minister for the Public Service of Australia provided updates on technology and digital identity-related legislation. The Minister delved into the topic of Digital ID and its significance for Australia’s future.
The primary focus of the address was the introduction of the draft Digital ID legislation, marking the commencement of consultations for the exposure draft. She highlighted that Digital ID is akin to an online version of presenting one’s passport or driver’s license to verify their identity but without relinquishing the physical document. It aims to provide a secure and convenient way to verify identity online.
The draft Digital ID legislation, now open for consultation, represents a significant milestone in Australia’s efforts to create a national Digital ID system. The Minister outlined four guiding principles for this system: security, convenience, voluntariness, and inclusivity. She stressed that Digital ID would remain voluntary, ensuring alternate channels for those who prefer not to use it.
Moreover, Digital ID is seen as a means to enhance inclusion by bringing government services online and extending their accessibility to underserved communities, including individuals with disabilities. However, the Minister emphasised that those unable or unwilling to obtain a Digital ID would still have access to government services through traditional channels.
The current system, which operates without legislation, allows individuals with Digital IDs to verify their identity without repeatedly providing sensitive documents. Nevertheless, it has limitations, as it is not yet a nationwide system and private sector providers cannot verify individuals against government-issued ID documents. The government envisions a national Digital ID system as an important economic, productivity, and security reform, and efforts are underway to address these shortcomings.
To ensure trust, data protection, and choice in the Digital ID system, the draft legislation establishes governance arrangements, a regulator (with the ACCC as the interim regulator), and privacy safeguards. Senator Gallagher emphasised the need for explicit consent for sharing identity information, the secure deletion of biometric data, and the prohibition of using identity data for direct marketing purposes.
Additionally, the Minster announced the formation of an AI taskforce, in collaboration with colleague Ed Husic, to ensure responsible and safe usage of AI across government agencies. AI has the potential to improve productivity within the APS and enhance government services, but it also requires careful management to mitigate risks.
The government is committed to creating boundaries and safeguards for emerging technologies like AI. The AI Taskforce will assess the risks and benefits of different AI systems within the public service.
The upcoming release of the first Long Term Insights Brief on AI and trust in public service delivery was also mentioned. Four key findings from the brief highlighted the importance of designing AI with integrity, preserving empathy in service design, enhancing public service performance, and investing in AI literacy and digital connectivity for all Australians.
The Minister expressed her determination to see the establishment of an Australian Digital ID system through legislation, despite the challenges and opposition. She acknowledged that it has been an eight-year work in progress, but she believes it is a worthy project with significant benefits for individuals, businesses, and the economy as a whole.
The address highlighted the importance of Digital ID legislation and AI governance in shaping Australia’s technological future. These initiatives aim to enhance security, convenience, and inclusivity while safeguarding individuals’ privacy and ensuring responsible AI usage within the public service.
Efforts to advance digital identification in Australia align with the country’s broader initiatives to establish a national Digital ID system, as discussed by the Minster. The focus of one pilot program, reported on by OpenGov Asia earlier, was on enabling individuals to prove their identity without the need for multiple physical documents corresponds to the principles of Digital ID outlined by the Minister, emphasising secure digital verification over physical information exchange.
Additionally, student volunteers from Deakin University demonstrated practical applications of digital identity within the education sector, mirroring the efficiencies mentioned by Senator Gallagher in her speech. These developments reflect Australia’s growing interest and innovation in the digital identification ecosystem.
Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia will cooperate in the digital economy. Experts have said that the substantial potential for trade and investment collaboration among the countries has not yet been fully realised.
The three governments jointly organised a conference to discuss digital economic development trends and their potential to enhance trade and investment among the countries, opportunities and challenges arising from digital transformation for the growth of trilateral ties, and strategies to advance their cooperative efforts in the digital era. The conference reflects the countries’ readiness to build digital-transformation-oriented socio-economic infrastructure.
Experts at the event recommended that the sides establish and improve institutional and legal environments that align with the demands of the international integration era within the context of the digital economy. Additionally, the nations should invest in developing digital infrastructure to foster their national digital economies.
The conference, which was organised by the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences (LASES), and Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), saw the participation of over 100 experts, managers, and diplomats from the three countries.
According to a representative from VASS, prioritising the advancement of the digital economy is considered a key task in accelerating the restructuring of an economy. This approach is closely linked with innovation in the growth model and the enhancement of growth quality. The aim is to assist a nation in escaping the middle-income trap and progressing toward becoming a fully developed, industrialised country. The trend presents both opportunities and challenges for countries involved, as they work to develop and expand their investment and commercial partnerships.
An official from LASES noted that Laos is in the early stages of its digital transformation journey, encompassing multiple sectors, including commerce and investment. Consequently, Laos is eager to collaborate with experts from Vietnam and Cambodia, aiming to exchange knowledge and gain insight from their respective digital transformation efforts.
Highlighting the longstanding bond among the three nations, an official from RAC acknowledged that in the realm of digital transformation, Vietnam has been making swifter advancements compared to Cambodia and Laos, particularly in sectors like tourism, commerce, and investment. Collaborative efforts among these nations, particularly in the domain of the digital economy, hold considerable importance in advancing the development of each country.
In 2020, Vietnam kicked off a national digital transformation programme, under which the country would renovate the management and administration activities of the government, the production and business activities of enterprises, and the overall way of living and working. It is working to develop a safe, humane, and wide digital environment. The national digital transformation programme has the dual purpose of both developing the digital government and economy and establishing Vietnamese digital businesses with a global capacity.
In the second quarter of 2023, the digital economy contributed approximately 15.26% to the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Vietnam. Compared to 2021, the growth of Vietnam’s national digital transformation index did slow down, but the component indices of digital government, digital economy, and digital society still maintained a high growth rate of 45-55%.
Vietnam’s digital economy was valued at around $14 billion in 2020, showing remarkable growth of 450% since 2015. Projections indicate that it is expected to expand by roughly 30% between 2020 and 2025.
Minister of PANRB Abdullah Azwar Anas stated that in 2023, the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Indonesia and Korea will reach its 50th year. Both countries continuously work to enhance their relations and cooperation, both bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally.
In light of this, the governments of Indonesia and Korea are continuing their cooperation in Electronic Government Systems (EGS) through the Digital Government Cooperation Forum. This event, organised through the collaboration of the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB), the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MoIS), and the National Information Society Agency (NIA), discusses the implementation of cooperation in 2023 and the cooperation project plans for 2024.
“The closeness of this relationship and cooperation is certainly supported by the complementary nature of resources and advantages possessed by Indonesia and Korea, in addition to the excellent economic and political progress, making opportunities for cooperation in various sectors increasingly wide open,” said Minister PANRB Abdullah Azwar Anas.
In 2023, the governments of Indonesia and Korea embarked on a cooperation project related to digital ID development strategies and poverty alleviation digitalisation strategies. As for the extension of the DGCC cooperation project in 2024, there are several project proposals from the DGCC Committee, including support for government efforts in digitalising Nusantara City into a smart city focusing on intelligent government aspects.
“These cooperation proposals include the use of Big Data and AI for government administrative services, open-source technology-based designs, and big data designs in service provision,” explained Anas.
In his opinion, strengthening the strategic partnership between Korea and Indonesia for a shared future, especially in digital transformation, is not just an aspiration but a necessity. Indonesia’s digital transformation is already on the right track, where digital transformation serves as an accelerator for development acceleration.
Strengthening partnerships with Korea, one of the global technology industry leaders can bring Indonesia significant benefits. Korea has extensive experience and expertise in digital transformation and cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and 5G. Through knowledge sharing and close collaboration, Indonesia can accelerate the implementation of these technologies to support various sectors, including industry, education, healthcare, and public services.
Furthermore, strengthening this partnership can also open doors for investments in Indonesia’s technology ecosystem. With financial and technical support from Korea, Indonesian startups and technology companies can further develop their innovations and compete in the global market. This will create new job opportunities, drive economic growth, and strengthen Indonesia’s position in an increasingly interconnected international community.
“Interoperability of systems and applications continues to be pursued to realise integrated services nationally. However, we continue to strive and learn best practices from various countries, especially Korea, to strengthen digital transformation breakthroughs in Indonesia,” he said.
NIA President Jong Sung Hwang stated that in the future, his agency will actively assist Indonesia in digital governance, similar to what they did by establishing NIA in 1987 to support the digitalisation of the South Korean government. “The South Korean government used to have 17,060 silo systems, but they managed to integrate them all into an all-in-one service,” explained Jong Sung Hwang.
Jong Sung Hwang added that in the era of digital governance, everything should run smoothly, and data should be easily accessible. “Usually, data preparation takes a lot of time, but with data infrastructure, it can be done more quickly and data is easier to use,” he added.
In an era where technology defines many aspects of daily life, strengthening a strategic partnership with Korea in digital transformation is not just an option but a necessity. This step will help Indonesia address challenges and seize opportunities from the global digital revolution. With strong cooperation between the two countries, Indonesia can achieve a brighter and more sustainable future in the digital era.
In a resolute move to drive technological innovation and secure a prominent position on the global stage, China significantly bolstered its investment in research and development (R&D) in 2022. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the country allocated an impressive 3.08 trillion yuan (S$422.1 billion) to R&D, marking a 10.1% year-on-year increase.
This surge in R&D funding underscores China’s unwavering dedication to advancing basic research and achieving breakthroughs in critical technologies.
The amplified R&D investment not only fuels technological innovation within Chinese enterprises but also enhances their core competitiveness on the international front. Experts believe that this substantial investment will inject a potent dose of momentum into China’s ongoing economic recovery.
The surge in R&D investment reflects China’s resolute implementation of an innovation-driven development strategy, positioning the nation as a science and technology powerhouse. This strategy equips China with a competitive edge in the fierce international arena, driving the creation of new growth engines.
Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Centre at Zhejiang University’s International Business School, underscores the pivotal role of continuous investment in basic scientific research.
He highlights its significance in fostering high-quality economic growth and promoting the intelligent transformation and upgrading of traditional industries. Pan calls for harnessing the leading role of enterprises in driving technological innovation, thereby ensuring sustainable progress.
Enterprises in China are indeed heeding this call, expanding their investments in vital sectors and laying a robust foundation for pioneering core technologies in key domains. The NBS highlighted the government’s commitment to providing continued financial support and encouraging local authorities to amplify their R&D investments while optimising the efficiency of capital utilisation.
China’s prowess in science and technology innovation has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. The 2022 Global Innovation Index, released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, positioned China at the 11th spot globally, making it the only middle-income economy within the top 30.
Further, Luo Zhongwei, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Industrial Economics advocates intensifying investments in cutting-edge and forward-looking fields, including quantum information, artificial intelligence (AI), biological sciences, new energy, and new materials.
According to him, these investments are essential to achieve breakthroughs in key domains through independent innovation, particularly as protectionism continues to rise in some countries.
China’s intensified investments in cutting-edge fields like quantum information and AI confer a multitude of advantages. This commitment propels China to a position of technological leadership on the global stage. By allocating substantial resources to these transformative technologies, China not only sets industry standards but also influences international trends and fosters innovation.
Besides, these investments fuel economic growth by catalysing the development of new industries and markets. Quantum information and AI have the potential to spawn high-tech startups, generate employment opportunities, and stimulate economic prosperity.
As China excels in these domains, it enhances its global competitiveness, exporting technological advancements, products, and expertise while strengthening its standing in international trade and diplomacy.
Also, this strategic move ensures China’s national security and technological sovereignty. Quantum information and AI play pivotal roles in safeguarding against cybersecurity threats and advancing military capabilities.
Likewise, these investments reduce China’s reliance on foreign technology, allowing greater control over critical infrastructure and ensuring resilience against external disruptions. Overall, China’s intensified focus on these advanced fields promises not only technological leadership but also economic growth, national security, and global influence.
The Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) spearheaded an initiative aimed at promoting innovation and technology in the biotech sector, showcasing Hong Kong’s pioneering advancements and entrepreneurial spirit.
This initiative was part of the “Think Business, Think Hong Kong” event organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in Paris recently. The event was a platform to underscore the potential for cross-border collaboration between Hong Kong and France in the field of biotechnology and innovation.
The CEO of HKSTP emphasised the critical purpose behind this endeavour. He pointed out the immense potential for synergy and cooperation between Hong Kong and French biotech ecosystems, highlighting their role in propelling startups and pharmaceutical companies to global prominence.
The journey of biotech innovation is long and arduous, and comprehensive support is essential. This initiative aimed to highlight Hong Kong’s ability to nurture and support biotech innovators throughout their growth trajectory and establish the city as a global hub for innovation and technology.
At its core, this initiative sought to underscore Hong Kong’s strengths in driving innovation to global success. It aimed to showcase the city’s unique ecosystem that fosters innovation and technology, making it a prime destination for biotech entrepreneurs. Moreover, it underlined the immense market potential in Asia as a growth engine for the global biotech industry.
The thematic session organised by HKSTP and the accompanying pavilion, titled “Unlocking Asia’s Opportunities in Healthcare Innovation,” was central to this initiative. These components received a warm reception from the French biotech and pharmaceutical industry.
Four distinguished biotech experts from Hong Kong-based ventures were featured, collectively illustrating Hong Kong’s capacity to lead in global innovation and technology. They highlighted the city’s potential as a gateway to the Asian market, positioning it as a central hub for biotech growth and development.
To further accentuate the significance of this initiative, a special gala dinner was convened, attended by influential leaders from the French, European, and Hong Kong business communities. Key dignitaries including the President of the Ile de France Region, the Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government, and the Chairman of HKTDC were present. This gathering aimed to foster meaningful connections and collaborations that would propel innovation and technology in the biotech sector forward.
HKSTP’s initiative was not just about an event; it was about catalysing collaboration and innovation in the biotech sector. It sought to highlight Hong Kong’s unique strengths as a global player in biotech innovation and technology. By bringing together experts, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders, this initiative aimed to pave the way for groundbreaking advancements in biotech, positioning Hong Kong as a prominent player in the international innovation and technology landscape.
OpenGov Asia previously reported that the Government Chief Information Officer of Hong Kong led a delegation from the city’s innovation and technology (I&T) sector to the 25th China International Software Expo (CISE). The mission aimed to strengthen collaboration and explore business opportunities in the technology sector.
The Hong Kong Pavilion at CISE showcased more than 20 innovative I&T products and solutions sourced from esteemed competitions like the Hong Kong ICT Awards and the “Maker in China” SME Innovation and Entrepreneurship Global Contest. These exhibits covered cutting-edge domains such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud computing, and biotechnology.
These innovations spanned sectors like fintech, smart construction site management, and digital entertainment, demonstrating the integration of digital technology into the tangible economy. To engage potential buyers and partners, the Hong Kong Pavilion featured a mini-stage for exhibitors to present their products and services.
This delegation’s participation in CISE emphasised Hong Kong’s technological capabilities and commitment to international collaboration. It aligned with Hong Kong’s goal of becoming a global hub for technological innovation in a rapidly evolving I&T landscape.
The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of three separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) from earlier this year between India and Sierra Leone, Antigua & Barbuda, and Armenia. These MoUs will facilitate cooperation in the realm of exchanging successful digital solutions that have been deployed at a national level to boost digital transformation initiatives.
Under the memoranda of understanding, the countries will share experiences and digital technology-driven solutions, such as India Stack, in the execution of digital transformation projects. It is expected that the MoUs will result in more employment opportunities in the information technology sector.
India Stack is a collection of indigenously developed APIs and digital public assets that strive to enable the widespread utilisation of digital identity, data, and payments as fundamental economic elements. India Stack includes apps like Unified Payments Interface (India’s instant payments system), Aadhaar (the government’s digital identity card), and DigiLocker (a secure document access platform on a public cloud).
Both government-to-government (G2G) and business-to-business (B2B) cooperation in the realm of DPI will be strengthened through the MoUs. The endeavours outlined in the agreements will be funded using the regular operating allocations of their respective administrations. The MoUs shall remain in force for three years.
The MoUs were signed between the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Information, Communications Technologies, Utilities and Energy of the Antigua & Barbuda, and the Armenian Ministry of High-Tech Industry.
MeitY is actively working with multiple countries and international organisations to promote both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of ICT. Over time, MeitY has established MoUs, memoranda of cooperation (MoCs), and agreements with counterpart organisations and agencies from various countries. These arrangements serve as vehicles for fostering cooperation and facilitating the exchange of information within the ICT domain.
The MoUs were originally put forth at a meeting of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG). The event served as a global platform for discussions on both foundational and sector-specific DPIs. It featured experience zones that highlighted the various DPIs that have been successfully implemented, including digital identities, fast payments, open networks for digital commerce, language translation technology, online learning solutions, and telemedical consultations.
The agreements align with the several initiatives undertaken by the government, including Digital India, Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India), and Make in India, among others, aimed at advancing the nation towards a digitally empowered society and a knowledge-based economy. Given the evolving landscape, there is a need to explore business opportunities, exchange best practices, and attract investments within the digital sector.
According to the government, over the last few years, India has showcased its leadership in the deployment of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and has effectively delivered public services, even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, many countries have expressed an interest in learning from India’s experiences.
India Stack Solutions are Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) created and implemented by India on a national scale. This infrastructure facilitates access to and the delivery of public services. It aims to universalise connectivity, foster digital inclusion, and ensure effortless access to public services.
These solutions are built on open technologies, are interoperable and are designed to encourage active involvement from both industry and community stakeholders, fostering innovation. However, each country has unique needs and challenges in building DPI, although the basic functionality is similar, allowing for global cooperation.