KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 193 companies have been awarded the Malaysia Digital Status by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in the first quater of 2024.

Digital Minister Gobind Singh Deo said half of which are information technology (infotech) companies leveraging on technologies such as blockchain, Web3 and Artificial Intelligence.

“We have also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the world’s leading pre-accelerator, Draper University, to set up a base in Kuala Lumpur – its first campus outside Silicon Valley.

“This is vital in supporting and spearheading the pipeline of venture capitals and startups looking to enter and expand in Malaysia,“ he said in his opening speech at KL20 Summit 2024 here, today.

Malaysia Digital Status is awarded by MDEC to eligible companies which participates in any of Malaysia Digital’s activities and are offered a set of incentives, rights and privileges to enable them to operate, expand and invest in the country.

Gobind said Malaysia’s digital economy has proved to be an important pillar to the country economy as it contributed 23 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP).

“Malaysia embarked on its digitalisation journey in 1996. We have, without a doubt, made great strides in building our digital economy through the decades,“ he said

On another note, Gobind said Malaysia now ranked 20th in the World’s Strong Starters Ranking list based on the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 published by Startup Genome.

He said it is estimated that Malaysia’s startup ecosystem is now valued at US$46 billion and growing.

“We have over 3,000 local startups in the ecosystem, operating in different sectors – from financial technology and e-commerce, to health technology and Islamic finance.

“Malaysia is eager to stamp its mark in the region. As such, the government is looking forward to our ASEAN chairmanship in 2025. We are already gearing up for it, and plans for engagements in the region are underway,“ he said.