RM21.6bil Fund Set Up in Supporting Digital Economy Development in Malaysia
First announced in Malaysia in early-2019, the RM21.6bil National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) was officially launched in September aiming to enhance digital connectivity across all segments of the Malaysian society and leading to increased access to global opportunities arising from digital connectivity.
National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan
The NFCP aims to achieve 3 objectives: enhance the quality and coverage of broadband connectivity throughout Malaysia, reduce broadband prices, and provide access to the Internet for all segments of society. Through having a stable, extensive, high quality and affordable digital connectivity, citizens and businesses are expected to benefit from increased online transactions, increased new businesses, increased employment opportunities, reduce urban migration and increased national GDP growth. In line with the NFCP, Malaysia Debt Ventures (MDV) has committed more than RM50m funding via National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan-Vendor Development Programme (NFCP-VDP). The NFCP-VDP aims to bridge the fund-raising gap faced by eligible technology companies that undertake projects related to the NFCP, either as a contractors or sub-contractors and suppliers, thus facilitate their contributions towards the success of the NFCP. The critical vendors, as of now, are companies that do the laying of fibre cables, civil works, and building necessary infrastructures.
Financing for National Objective
Aim at achieving a nation-building objective, the NFCP is geared towards enabling Malaysians to tap into the digital world. Malaysians all over can actively engage with opportunities in the digital economy at any time when high-quality, high-speed broadband is made available. Thus, Malaysian SMEs taking up projects related to NFCP can apply for the MDV’s vendor development programme fund to ensure the completion of each project. The financing limit per application is up to RM5 million, and it comes with a competitive financing rate. The approval process is simple and straightforward. The programme also offers a customised facility structure that matches the project’s contract requirement and a credit guarantee. The simplicity of the financing programme is to expedite each project to ensure the success of the NFCP. This is important because the longer it takes a company to complete necessary infrastructure works, the longer it will take for our digital economy to take off fully. Thus, leading to losses on our technological pathway. Financing for projects is crucial as it ensures smooth implementation and completion.
To date, MDV has financed more than 800 technology projects in Malaysia. They are in the areas of information and communications technology, green technology, biotechnology and emerging technology. Most of the companies involved are SMEs geared towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Where telecommunications infrastructure is concerned, MDV has helped finance the construction of close to six thousand 3G and 4G towers across Malaysia. Thus, in supporting digital economy development, this fund will benefit every aspect of society by connecting Malaysia digitally as a nation.