KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) understands the difficulties faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in embracing the Industry 4.0 in the face of challenging economic times.
It has, as such, has been working closely with the SMEs to help them move up their technology adoption towards becoming regional or global champions.
The Industry 4.0 in essence refers to the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes include internet of things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Mida executive director investment promotion Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, said besides the government agency, SMEs, which comprise 98.5 per cent of the country’s businesses, can also engage with IT services providers, system integrators as well as the private sector.
“We acknowledge that currently, most SMEs are either at the level of Industry 2.0, 2.5 or 3.0. We can assist by firstly encouraging them to undertake the National Policy on Industry 4.0 Readiness Assessment or (Industry4WRD-RA),” he told reporters during a half-day seminar here today.
The assessment, launched in October last year, is aimed at driving the digital transformation of the manufacturing and related services sector in the country. An allocation of RM210 million has been put aside to support this assessment programme for the period between 2019 and 2021.
The government has targeted to assess 500 companies this year and another 500 next year.
“We want our SMEs to look beyond Malaysia and with the presence of the digital platform, the market has become borderless. The Asean market alone consists of a population base of 650 million, which we can tap,” he explained.
During the seminar to increase awareness on government policies and facilities for the Malaysian Indian Network of Entrepreneurs (1MINE), Sivasuriyamoorthy said the major incentive that MIDA had put in place over the last two years, included, the Automation Capital Allowance for companies to undertake automation and robotisation.
“They can claim this allowance from the government and other than this, we also have the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) mainly for the 60 per cent Malaysian-owned companies. We have expanded the DISF to also cover industry 4.0,” he added.
Meanwhile, 1MINE president Datuk S. Gopinath said the association was now educating its 200 members to not conduct business the conventional way, but leverage on the current Industry 4.0 trend.
“They will not get anywhere by not changing and need to gain recognition as Indian entrepreneurs in the country,” he added. — Bernama