UK, US Keen to Enhance Digital Economic Cooperation with Malaysia

January 2022

The UK has expressed its interest to enhance economic cooperation with Malaysia especially in the field of digital economy in various matters, including education and information exchange, as well as research and development. This was conveyed during the meeting with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs Elizabeth Truss together with Health Minister Khairi Jamaluddin in early November 2021. Truss was on her first visit to Southeast Asia following her appointment as the foreign secretary of the UK in September 2021. Both countries have also agreed to strengthen the Commonwealth after the Covid-19 pandemic. Renewed emphasis will be given on several areas, with economic and education sectors being included.

A similar sentiment was expressed by the US, during the Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s one-day visit to Malaysia in mid-November 2021. Raimondo was on her first official visit to Asia to meet government officials and business leaders in Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore, in line with President Joe Biden’s announcement on developing an economic framework to define its shared objectives with partners in Asia in key areas of supply chain resilience, digital economy and technology, common standards and supporting regional infrastructure projects.

The US has agreed to strengthen cooperation with Malaysia in various sectors including cybersecurity, digital economy, and technology transfer, in addition to promoting potential collaborations between entities from both countries. The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has shared with her various digital initiatives being carried out in the country including the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), the 5G network rollout, and the importance of cybersecurity. It explained the government’s priority on attracting foreign investors to set up data centers, submarine cables, and cloud computing activities in the country. The US has also introduced several new technologies including Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) system and invited Malaysia to get used to the more sophisticated system – these will be studied further by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

(Source: The Edge Markets; Malay Mail)

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