Guan Eng pushes for global cooperation on virtual banking regulations

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng urged nations to cooperate so that such regulations are formulated in the interest of consumers rather than business corporations. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng urged nations to cooperate so that such regulations are formulated in the interest of consumers rather than business corporations. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 — Nations must work closely to streamline regulations for the digital economy and virtual banking, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Lim urged nations to cooperate so that such regulations are formulated in the interest of consumers rather than business corporations.

Speaking at the Blum Hall University in California, US, the minister said countries would lose revenue if virtual banking regulatory frameworks are drafted towards the interest of these corporations. 

“Barriers to access must be lowered to make our digitalisation process inclusive. As I would like to stress, it is about availability, accessibility and affordability. 

“We can ill-afford to have the digital space dominated by a few large players, when their interests may not align with public interest. 

“Any expansion of the digital economy must not lead to loss of sovereign control,” he said during his speech on Monday, its text made available to local media today.

He added Malaysia has so far managed to regulate the digital economy and was moving to tax online services but said this would soon be difficult without global cooperation.

Lim then spoke of Malaysia’s preparations for Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).

“Even from last year, this government provided large funds, either in terms of loan guarantees or grants worth about RM10 billion (US$2.4 billion) to encourage digitalisation and the adoption of IR4.0 technology like artificial intelligence, automation, big data and robotics among Malaysian businesses,” he said. 

On the US-China trade war, he said there were no winners in this but Malaysia would try to find the best possible position to mitigate.

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