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Mon, 04/22/2024 - 16:40
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ESCAP 80: Malaysia Emphasises Longstanding Commitment To Sustainable Development

BANGKOK, April 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will continue to leverage digital innovation for better policy interventions and improved social protection programmes in meeting the sustainable development agenda.


Deputy Economy Minister Hanifah Hajar Taib said Malaysia has been dedicated to sustainable development agenda with the launch of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in the 1970s, focusing on poverty eradication and societal restructuring.


"The achievement of SDGs requires strong regional cooperation and transformative partnerships and Malaysia calls for enhanced support and assistance for developing countries through adequate funding, technical knowledge, technology transfer, and continued capacity building," she said in her pre-recorded video aired during the Eightieth Session of The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and The Pacific (ESCAP 80) here, Monday.


Hanifah said the whole-of-nation approach with inclusive decision-making and follow-through processes is crucial in bringing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to a common agenda. 


"In Malaysia, the Prime Minister chairs the SDG Council representing the highest governing body to steer the implementation of SDG with participation by the public and private sector, civil society organisations and academicians," she said.


She said strategies are currently underway to create an enabling environment for the digital economy and these efforts include expanding digitalisation, strengthening research and development capabilities, and fostering commercialisation and innovation.


"These initiatives align with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, the National Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Policy, and the Public Sector Digitalisation Strategic Plan (PSPSA).


“The digital economy and e-commerce are projected to contribute 25 per cent and 15.7 per cent of Malaysia's GDP by 2025, respectively," she added.


Recognising the importance of connectivity, Hanifah said Malaysia gazetted communication services as a public utility in June 2021 to ensure access for all individuals and businesses, with the goal of achieving 100 per cent 4G coverage in populated areas and mobile broadband speeds exceeding 100 Mbps by 2025.


"Government Technology (GovTech) was introduced to enhance public service delivery, improve governance, and provide universally accessible citizen-centric services. Initiatives like the Central Database Hub (PADU) and Malaysia's digital identity (MyDigital ID) registry further illustrate the commitment to digitalisation," she said.


Earlier, Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin officiated the ESCAP 80 at the United Nations Conference Centre here.


Themed ‘Leveraging digital innovation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific’, the conference brings together government leaders and ministers from across Asia and the Pacific and other key stakeholders to discuss how digital innovation can  contribute to the achievement of the SDG across multiple disciplines.