KUALA LUMPUR: A strong partnership between the government and private sector is important for countries to rise against the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
While the government continues to undertake measures that preserve an ecosystem oriented towards trade and investment, Muhyiddin said the resilience of the private sector, when dealing with the challenges brought about by the pandemic, will enhance the economic prosperity of a country.
“Although still affected by the pandemic, countries have started to reopen their economies and are making efforts to stimulate economic recovery.
“In this regard, I would also like to highlight the importance of a strong partnership between the government and private sector, which is pivotal to enable us to successfully overcome this pandemic and mitigate its consequent economic impact,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the Asean Plus Three (APT) Leaders’ Interface with the East Asia Business Council (EABC).
Malaysia, he said, also supports the survey finding of EABC, conducted in collaboration with the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), towards promoting innovation and e-commerce in East Asia.
He said digitalisation and automation offer huge opportunities to Asean Plus Three countries.
“I cannot overstress the importance of the digital economy, as evidenced by the impact of Covid-19 on our lives, in terms of enabling working from home, improving business flexibility, and enhancing the efficiency of resource allocation.
“I believe that we all agree that this pandemic has taught us the importance of building and enhancing our technological infrastructure to bring about a holistic ecosystem that would be able to put us in good stead, not just for now, but also for the future.
“Indeed, the proceedings of the Asean Summit is direct testimony of the intensity and magnitude of the impact of Covid-19 on our digital transformation,” he said.
Muhyiddin noted that new technologies also bring challenges, including the need to combat growing inequality, the spike in cyber threats and the imperative to support those displaced by new technologies, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises.
“It is also clear that the sectors most affected by the pandemic, namely, those relying on extensive in-person contact, would face a long and difficult path to recovery. These sectors and people working in them would need targeted and sustained policy support.
“In this regard, we have allocated funds to encourage micro, small and medium enterprises to upgrade to automation systems and equipment, to comply with Covid-19 standard operating procedures.
“In line with this, Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Commission has been tasked to expand broadband coverage in order to improve Internet connectivity in 25 industrial areas,” he said.
Muhyiddin added Malaysia will focus on long-term productivity through the use of cutting-edge technology to accelerate the transformation towards a high-income economy.