Embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution is upon us and it is manifested through technology trends towards automation, cyber-physical systems, the internet of things, cloud computing, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence.
However, Malaysia’s Entrepreneur Development Minister has pointed out that Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are still reluctant to adopt the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 in short, and are losing out on opportunities that could propel the country onto the international arena.
“Their reluctance will lead them to lose out not only to successful economies but also developing economies. We need to wake them up or else, the core competencies that have been developed by our country, especially in IR4.0 such as in mechatronics, might migrate to other countries,” he says.
SMEs are encouraged to embrace technologies that are brought about by Industry 4.0 which will significantly increase productivity and help ensure that the country remains competitive beyond the 2020s.
Malaysia’s Advantage As Regional Manufacturing Hub
The Entrepreneur Development Minister explains that foreign direct investments (FDI) have made Malaysia a leading high-tech manufacturing hub in South-East Asia, with advancements brought into Malaysia by multinationals using new technologies.
However, it is not enough to only have access to the know-how, human resources and technology in Malaysia, local entrepreneurs must also become innovators in developing their own solutions and technology to stay ahead of the game.
“We must take the reins and become leaders in our own right. We have the know-how, human resources and technology in this field. We cannot sit idly and wait for foreign advances to reach our shores. Take the lead in the development of IR4.0 and become the envy of the world.
“As entrepreneurs, we must be courageous and creative and have just the right amount of candour to enable us to learn and unlearn in order to remain relevant, find our niche and compete with the rest of the world,” he says.
Holding Onto Malaysia’s Competitiveness
He further observes that Malaysia is losing its competitiveness to Vietnam, hence fueling the need to create even more awareness among SMEs to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies in order to remain competitive in the region.
The Malaysian Ministry of Entrepreneur Development will also continue to encourage SMEs to showcase their skills and core competencies as while enhancing the pool of resources for IR4.0 technologies to stimulate FDI and bring about quality investments. It is hopeful that better adoption of Industry 4.0 will help to create better employment opportunities for local talents.