KUCHING (May 15): The Ministry of International Trade, Industry and Investment (Mintred) has become the first government agency in the country to undertake collaboration with TikTok Malaysia, its minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said.

He said more than 100 Sarawakian sellers have participated in the TikTok Shop x Mintred programme last year.

“These sellers have recorded gross sales value worth more than RM1 million,” the Deputy Premier told the august House at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting today.

In delivering his ministry’s winding-up speech, Awang Tengah said his ministry is also implementing initiatives to provide capacity building in digital skills for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to navigate through the digital transformation journey.

“For the first quarter of 2024, more than 2,800 MSMEs were trained in basic, technical and digital entrepreneurship,” he said.

He pointed out that MSMEs are regarded as the important engine for economic growth, innovation and employment with their contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) for most economies ranging from 40 to 60 per cent, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) SME Outlook Report 2024.

“In Malaysia, MSMEs formed 97 per cent of the total business establishments, employing more than 48 per cent of the workforce and contributed 38.4 per cent to national GDP in 2022.

“Whilst, in Sarawak, 93 per cent of the business establishments were MSMEs. The majority were in the services sector,” he said.

He said Sarawak has developed the Sarawak Digital Economy Blueprint 2030, which provides a strategic framework and roadmap to be a major powerhouse in the region.

“By 2030, the digital economy is expected to contribute approximately 20 per cent to Sarawak’s GDP, of which 80 per cent of MSMEs will adopt digitalisation.

“Adoption of technology by MSMEs will drive future innovation and improved access to the global economy. In this regard, I urge our MSMEs to take advantage of the opportunities arising from this new economy,” he said.

He said Mintred will continue to promote entrepreneurial culture among the communities, foster innovation to strengthen business competitiveness and build MSMEs’ capabilities in digital and new economy.

On a related matter, Awang Tengah said the Sarawak government encouraged investors to include local content in their investment projects by giving priority to capable and competent Sarawakian companies.

“Among the projects include mechanical works, module fabrication, piping system, construction, consultancy and offshore maintenance.

“Local content is one of the requirements to be eligible for tax incentives under the initiative by the federal government,” he said.

He said initiatives to increase local participation in contract works were also taken by the Sarawak government, particularly in oil and gas and energy sectors.

“For the oil and gas sector, at least 75 per cent of locals will be participating in the contracts and services by 2030.

“In 2023, works and services in the oil and gas sector in Sarawak worth RM5.7 billion or 41 per cent out of the total value of RM13.6 billion were awarded to Sarawakian companies,” he said, adding that the contracts awarded to Sarawakian companies have increased by 48 per cent last year.

For the energy sector, he said Sarawak Energy Berhad required commitment from foreign companies to provide local participation in the contract works.

“Since 2017, 35 per cent of all capital works projects awarded to foreign companies have been undertaken by local Sarawakians,” said Awang Tengah.