According to a recent report, the establishment of the Croatia-Southeast Asia Business Advisory Network will not only support technology development in Malaysia but also help the country to achieve its ambition of becoming a developed nation.
Functioning as a knowledge hub and business incubator, the advisory network is aimed at boosting entrepreneurship, technology development and innovation. This is timely, as these factors are the key drivers transforming Malaysia.
The Croatian Ambassador to Malaysia noted that the advisory network, which focuses on businesses and people-to-people relations, would act as a framework to further boost collaboration between the two countries.
He stated that the objective is to help Croatian companies and people to provide information and know-how, as well as connecting them with Southeast Asian countries.
The event was officiated by Deputy Entrepreneur Development Minister. In August 2018, the Prime Minister had said that Malaysia can still become a fully developed nation but it might take a little longer than the original target of the year 2020.
The advisory network was created as a dynamic cooperation platform of private sector entities, governments and experts from Croatia and Southeast Asian region namely Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei.
It aims to enhance regional integration via facilitating trade and investments, development of the small and medium enterprises by building synergies and partnerships, promoting policy dialogues, exchange of best practices and fostering corporate responsibility, particularly in tech and innovation.
It was noted that the Malaysian government is aware of the potential from a collaboration between European Union and Croatia, following the positive interests from ministries namely the Entrepreneur Development and Energy, Science, Technology, Climate Change and Environment.
The ambassador said the awareness of technology and innovation among young Malaysians is a significant signal of the nation’s talent and creativity. Therefore, he added, it was vital to gain support from partners to create partnerships.
Driving IR 4.0 in Malaysia
The new business advisory network will help drive Malaysia’s Industry 4.0 goals. With regards to technology, understanding of and access to advanced, cost-effective and interoperable Industry 4.0 technologies are at the core of unlocking the potential of Industry 4.0.
At present, the majority of Malaysian manufacturing firms surveyed adopt less than 50% automation. The experiences from other countries demonstrate the importance of digital/technology labs and collaborative platforms, especially public-private partnerships (PPPs), in disseminating Industry 4.0 technologies and transferring knowledge.
The Government aims to work with global and local industry leads to set up digital and Industry 4.0 demonstration labs. Moreover, standards compliance that fosters interoperability of systems, both nationally and internationally, is important to support seamless value chains, optimise resources and improve productivity.
The Government aims to develop and commercialise new technologies and processes that address specific needs in priority sectors. This will be crucial to retaining Malaysia’s position as a preferred high-tech and manufacturing hub, and supply chain partner.
The strategies and action plans outlined in the IR 4.0 Policy require collaborative efforts across multiple stakeholders and organisations.
To accelerate or improve the intended outcome of these actions, a number of factors must be taken into consideration to identify the most efficient and effective implementation approach.
One of these approaches is by recognising the best practices among manufacturing ecosystems (i.e., different countries), it is acknowledged that the needs and the driving factors of these countries are very much different from Malaysia’s.
An exact replication of their successful systems would not work well in Malaysia’s context due to these differences. As such, each manufacturing sub-sector needs to consider which elements of these international benchmarks could be adopted.
Hence, the new Business Advisory Network will enable Malaysia to identify better business and manufacturing techniques, then customising them to best meet Malaysia’s needs.