KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25): The digital economy’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) will easily reach 20% by year-end from 19.1% in the current Covid-19 pandemic environment, said Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Business digital adoption director Muhundhan Kamarapullai said its contribution to the GDP had been already quite significant even prior to the pandemic at over 18% and now it had moved up to 19.1%.

“From a digital economy standpoint, we have gained quite a bit in terms of how the acceleration of work has been done in the country.

“From an economic perspective, the acceleration has been tremendous in some areas such as e-commerce and logistics. Many of these areas have a high demand at present due to the digital demand,” he said during a webinar organised by Cyberview Sdn Bhd titled “Surviving a Pandemic: What It Means to Digitally Transform Your Business” today.

Other panellists at the seminar were NEXPlatform chief strategy officer Stephen Lim and Moovby chief executive officer Nik Muhammad Amin.

From the supply and demand perspective, Muhundhan said Malaysian startups and technology companies had benefitted from a supply standpoint due to the acceleration in digital demand.

He said there was a lot of opportunity for them to grow and innovate as competition became much greater and opportunities increased.

“Therefore, today we can see a lot of startups coming forward with different types of business models and being more innovative because they see (potential) growth and this is the right time for them to grow,” he said.

On the demand side, Muhundhan said although demand had increased, it was still at an infancy stage.

“For example, last year when MDEC organised a digital summit, we were targeting 100,000 views and would be happy with this. But when we concluded the summit, we had touched more than one million viewers within just the three days of the event and that tells us there is an increase in interest among the traditional businesses.

“So the businesses understand that digital is important and they need to do something about it.

“However, the challenge lies in identifying how do they get onboard the digital journey, what do they need to do, where to start and where the opportunities are in digital,” said Muhundhan.

He said from a digital adoption point of view for the traditional businesses, there was still a lot more work to do.

“The excitement is there and, from MDEC’s standpoint, now we must put in the right structure and help them,” he said.