KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Selangor is betting large on the digital economy to drive the state economy and is expected to pour huge amounts of money into potential industries like financial technology next year, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said today.
The country’s richest state by per capita income has channelled a huge chunk of its budget into a fund set up to help identify and nurture startup firms as it seeks to become the hub for unicorn companies, Amirudin said in a new year’s eve address issued earlier this evening.
A unicorn is a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a privately held startup company with a value of over a billion dollar.
“Selangor will continue to galvanise efforts to encourage sectors like fintech, urban farming or even filming and cyber games to remain competitive by investing huge amounts in the Selangor Innovation Fund,” the Selangor mentri besar said.
“A grant worth RM100 million is expected to benefit startup entrepreneurs or innovators who can come up with new technologies that provide solutions to challenges confronting our society, ultimately positioning Selangor as the early stage investor,” he added.
“With that, the state government intends to produce ‘unicorn’ companies that would yield billions of dollars and those that can excel at the world stage and not just for Malaysia.”
The Pakatan Harapan state government has long prided itself as a forward-thinking government, and is among the earliest to invest in digital technology.
Amirudin said his administration is expected to offer several new innovations that could “ease” life for its citizens, among them PRODUTK, an administrative system meant to streamline and smoothen the transition to IR4.0 for businesses.
Selangor is also said to have ramped up efforts to create a more “digitally-conscious” population through programmes aimed at educating its citizens about digitalisation, although Amirudin has not been exactly clear as to what that means exactly.
All this will go side-by-side with the state government’s focus on uplifting the poor and lower-income households, the Selangor MB stressed.
He said programmes like the University Fee Assistance (Bayu) and the Public Tuition Centre will remain as staple policies so children will continue to receive education despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is important so we will be more prepared to face anything and challenges to the economy in the future, especially since the outbreak has yet to subside,” he said.
Amirudin vowed that development in the state will benefit everyone of its citizens.
“Hoping that 2021 will give each of Selangor’s citizens good health and prosperity and that nobody is left behind,” he said.
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