Monday, October 28, 2013

Statement on Malaysia Budget 2014: A Strong Foundation For Economic Resilience And Accelerating National Transformation

KUALA LUMPUR, 25 October 2013 – Commenting on Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s unveiling of Budget 2014, themed “Strengthening Economic Resilience, Accelerating Transformation and Fulfilling Promises”, Microsoft Malaysia welcomed the Government’s commitment to economic resilience and transformational initiatives, and looked forward to partnering the Government for a successful implementation.

“We are glad that the Government has clearly stated its priority on securing the future success of the nation with a continued commitment to transforming education, businesses and Malaysian lives. The 2014 National Budget clearly looks at the necessary steps required towards Malaysia becoming a knowledge- and innovation-based economy by 2020,” commented Carlos Lacerda, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia.

Continued Investment In Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure
In response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s move to unveil the second phase of the High-Speed Broadband Project (HSBB), Lacerda said, “We welcome this as a vital move towards democratizing the access of knowledge and narrowing the digital divide for all Malaysians. Accelerating high-speed access to information will enhance IT adoption and allow Malaysians to have access to the latest knowledge and innovative technologies.”

“At Microsoft, we believe that technology – encountered through devices and services like cloud computing – empowers individuals and businesses with the tools needed to be efficient and effective for the activities they value most. As a world leader in cloud solutions, we are committed to helping Malaysians unlock the power of the cloud and empowering individuals and businesses – at home, at work and on the go, to become more productive,” he added.

Entrepreneurs Lead The Charge In Transforming Businesses
Microsoft also welcomes the Government’s strong push to stimulate entrepreneurship as part of its efforts to drive economic growth and compete at a regional and global level.

“Entrepreneurs play a key role in stimulating innovation in the economy, helping create new employment opportunities and at the same time – with the help of technology – providing innovative products and services that contribute to the local economy and help to address societal needs,” commented Lacerda.

“Initiatives such as the 1Malaysia Entrepreneurship (1MeT) program under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) 9 and the MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creative Centre) in Cyberjaya, are a positive step in supporting entrepreneurs who play a critical role as an engine of growth for a creative- and innovation-based Malaysian economy. The Government has allocated a further RM50 million for the Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (TUS) towards this objective, and we fully support the Government’s efforts to nurture entrepreneurs, including our proposed partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports on Microsoft’s YouthSpark program, which aims to provide young entrepreneurs with innovative technology and IT skills, with the goal of empowering them to realize their full potential through opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship,” said Lacerda.

Education As The Key To Malaysia’s Future
“For over 20 years, we have supported the Government of Malaysia’s emphasis on education as a key lever towards becoming a developed nation. Thus, to see the Government’s continued commitment to education by allocating 21% of the total budget for 2014, amounting to RM54.6 million, is encouraging,” said Lacerda.

He continued, “To that end, Microsoft is committed to becoming a trusted advisor to the Government to help transform Malaysia together, educating the leaders of tomorrow through investing in enhanced learning environments that lead to better outcomes and enrich students’ learning experiences. We believe an end-to end vision that goes beyond just school emails and productivity suites, to include teacher training and empowerment, igniting student creativity, as well as connecting classrooms throughout the country. Microsoft supports the nation’s efforts to develop human capital with 21st century skills that are practical and relevant to the local economy and industry needs. A talented, skilled workforce that is geared towards creativity and innovation is the foundation for the country to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and position the country as a regional and global hub for multinational corporations (MNCs).”

Strong Strategy, Strong Implementation
In summary, Microsoft Malaysia believes that the 2014 Budget is strategically sound and looks forward to partnering with the Government as a trusted advisor in its implementation towards success.

“The Government has laid out a very strong strategy – now all eyes are on it to ensure that it is implemented well and towards success. Microsoft Malaysia is certainly committed to be a partner with the Government in transforming Malaysia together towards achieving the vision of a developed, high-income, innovation-based economy by the year 2020,” concluded Lacerda.

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