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      25 September 2020  

SEDIA organises seminar on Digital Economy


Kota Kinabalu (Friday) - The Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) held a seminar this morning entitled "Digital Economy Initiative: from Alibaba experience" at Dewan IDS, Wisma SEDIA. The seminar was presented by Tobin Ng, who was among the first batch of Malaysian entrepreneurs selected to attend the Alibaba Netpreneur programme.

Tobin began his career by serving as a Non-Executive Director of NCT Group in 2017, during which he received the Innovation of The Year award 2018 by Global Logistics Supply Chain. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Epost, a startup that he created at the age of 25, to serve as a B2B and B2C e-commerce solution, and an offline-to-online bridge connecting traditional businesses and customers with courier services tailored for the digital marketplace. With his supply chain experience and investment resources in Southeast Asia, Tobin led Epost to become a major online platform connecting businesses to consumers both domestically and internationally. In 2019, he was appointed as Director of Warisan Harta, which is the Sabah State Government's investment arm.

  Epost CEO Tobin Ng (right) presenting his views on the digital economy, watched on by Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry Permanent Secretary Dr. Mariana Tinggal (front row, left), SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Seri Panglima Hashim Paijan (front row, in white) and the other event participants

SEDIA recognises the timeliness of organising the seminar to provide participants with a clearer understanding of current global economic trends towards digitalisation, and how it affects both the Malaysia economy in general, and specifically the Sabah economy. The objective is for participants to learn from the speaker's experience from attending the Alibaba Netpreneur programme in 2019, as well as what he learned from the Alibaba Bainiu Village initiative, where the China company helped villagers to sell their products through Taobao and other e-commerce platforms. Through Epost, Tobin has been providing education and consultant services to local SMEs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling them with knowledge and expertise to not only survive, but excel during this period.

The seminar emphasised on digital economies as a new development driver, in line with the Federal and State Governments' focus on ensuring the Malaysian workforce keeps up with the adoption of IR 4.0 technologies. This also aligns with SEDIA's current efforts, as SEDIA has adopted a more focused and targeted approach in attracting quality investments in new growth areas, especially in service-based, innovation-led and knowledge-intensive industries including in Industry 4.0.

During the Eleventh Malaysia Plan, SEDIA has been according greater emphasis on improving the state's economic competitiveness by enhancing the state's global connectivity to ensure seamless movement of people, goods and services. Efforts would be directed especially towards enhancing the efficiency of the logistics sector by improving the relevant infrastructure and the integration of land, sea, and air services. In the long run, this will help in reducing the cost of living and doing business. This emphasis will strengthen the state's competitiveness moving forward into the Twelfth Malaysia Plan, as well as preparing Sabah for the sixth global business cycle that focuses on robotics, alternative energy and human enhancement technology.

Having realised the potential of SME contributions to the state economy, SEDIA had also developed initiatives and has been actively involved in SME development in Sabah since during the Second Phase of SDC (2011-2015) and into the current Third and final Phase of SDC (2016-2025), while also in line with one of the three principles of SDC, which is capturing economic value activities. A crucial component of SDC SME programmes has been the SDC SME Incubator programme, conducted over a two-year period.

The Incubator programme is conducted in collaboration with TERAJU which has provided the Sabah Bumiputera Entrepreneur Fund specifically for SMEs and start-ups. In implementing entrepreneurial development programmes, SEDIA continues to work with its strategic partners, TERAJU and SMECorp, as well as departments and agencies at the federal and state levels, such as the Sabah Foundation, DIDR, Sabah Department of Agriculture, KPD, SIRIM, Mardi, FAMA, among others.

- Media SEDIA

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