CM: Sarawak’s digital agenda needs creative, innovative players

Abang Johari (left) taking a wefie with BEIC 2018 delegates after opening the conference.

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KUCHING, July 19: Technology companies and digital entrepreneurs must constantly create and innovate in order to meet global market demands and help propel the state’s digital agenda.

In stating this, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said his administration was fully committed to creating a healthy environment to support the growth of a digital economy.

However, the chief minister emphasised that shaping a competitive digital economy and society relied heavily on the ability of players to remain innovative and creative in producing added-value products and services.

“We are now experiencing a changing business landscape because of technology. The state government’s policy is prioritising our shift towards the digital economy.

“Therefore, we need to build and enhance our Internet infrastructure to bridge technology among the people. Digital economy ensures there would not be any divide between rural and urban entrepreneurs as both are linked directly to the world market,” he said when opening the inaugural Borneo Entrepreneurship and Investment Convention (BIEC 2018) here today.

Since becoming chief minister in January last year, the state has embarked on a digital economy transformation move with plans to build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the state, setting up a digital free-trade zone in Samajaya here, and establishing an agriculture park to encourage global trade through e-commerce.

The state government also planned to propel its economy towards Industry 4.0, which focuses on artificial intelligence and advanced robotics, including the introduction of precision farming using Internet of Things.

Abang Johari sampling local products exhibited at the BEIC 2018.

“We want precision farmers and entrepreneurs that embrace technology. We are setting agro parks to support advanced farming. We must have the vision to modernise production.

“Entrepreneurs must also focus on research and development. We can look at our natural resources, our rich biodiversity from the jungles and turn them into various products,” he said.

Abang Johari stressed that the state and other regions in Borneo Island had a geographic advantage to market and move their products. Thus, he reminded local entrepreneurs to focus on penetrating the Asian market, which has close to a three billion population, including India and China.

“Borneo is unique considering that we are situated in the middle of the global trade route in the Asian region. The Borneo entrepreneurship sector, especially in digital economy, is very much relevant to the changing business landscape,” he asserted. — DayakDaily