Hornbill Unleashed

October 10, 2017

PKR leader proposes council for technopreneurs to share ideas

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for Willie MonginThe International Trade and E-Commerce Ministry has been urged to form an E-Commerce and Information Technology Council which will be a platform for technopreneurs in the state to share ideas, besides encouraging people to participate in E-Commerce.

In making the call, PKR Puncak Borneo branch chairman Willie Mongin suggested that as a way to encourage more people to participate in E-Commerce, the state government should give grants to technopreneurs to establish an ‘incubator’.

“Even better, the government can have a huge data centre like a small Silicon Valley in Sarawak to encourage our technopreneurs to participate and offer more services to the consumers,” he said in a press conference here on Monday.

Willie, who is a technopreneur himself, said the E-Commerce and Information Technology Council can also invite experts from outside the country to discuss and formulate a strategy on how to bring Sarawak’s digital economy to the next level.

“So far, we have not seen a very aggressive initiative besides one or two forums (but) it stopped there. This will not bring us to the next level. The ministry concerned should look into this seriously because the Internet business is the future and has vast potential for Sarawakians and Malaysians.”

In view of the state government’s desire to leapfrog into digital economy, Willie encouraged the state government to take ‘very aggressive’ steps in promoting digital economy among Sarawakians.

“If we want to see Sarawak growing into digital economy, the government has to do a lot of initiatives. The local Sarawakian IT entrepreneurs have to lead the new technology and create new relationship with all the other countries to have bigger e-commerce platform. They also have to actively participate in e-commerce that is the in-thing today.

“I believe e-commerce is the future. We cannot ignore the Internet of Things (IoT). I would also like to encourage and urge the government to initiate e-learning, e-sport, e-government. Basically, e-commerce is not merely about transaction between entrepreneurs and consumers.

“It also can be a service that they can offer, for example: e-government application that people can use to pay any government services like quit rent.”

Willie said in order for Sarawakians to uplift the standard of digital economy in the state, they must ensure that it has four elements that will help digital economy to grow.

“First is that we must have ready technopreneurs that are ready to take the lead to help Sarawak to become centre for digital economy. Secondly, the infrastructure in Sarawak must be ready. The problem is we would like to go for digital economy, but our infrastructure is not there yet.

“If you look at Kuching itself, within 50-kilometre radius hardly we can have a very good Internet connection.

“This will hinder the growth of digital economy. Thirdly, we must also have ready consumers who are willing to spend and when they are willing to spend, meaning that they must have higher disposable income.

“They must also have perfect logistics which have link internationally for the delivery of products and Sarawakians must have services and products that are ready to be offered to the Internet users.”

With all these in place, he believed that Sarawak can become a hub for international e-commerce within Malaysia.

“The revenue in the e-commerce market amounts to US$1,076 million in 2017 and then the revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate from 2017 to 2022 of 18.7 per cent, resulting in market volume of RM2,531 million in 2022. So there is a very big potential. We are talking about Malaysia alone, we already have about US$1,076 million e-commerce market amount. So Sarawakians cannot be just bystanders.”

Willie said according to a recent report Sarawakians purchased more things through the Internet, which he believed was due to the unavailability of many products locally.

“If we continue to be like this, there will not be a balance (of trade) because we purchase more from outside (Sarawak) but we do not offer to sell our products to other people outside the state. User penetration is also about 47.9 per cent in 2017 and expected to hit 63 per cent in 2022.

“This is a very encouraging and positive vibe to technopreneurs because the average revenue per user currently amounts to US$70.87.

“So we have users in Malaysia that are willing to spend through Internet transaction.”


Source : The Borneo Post Online by


 

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