The Selangor state government recently held its seventh edition of the Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention (SDEC), themed “Sustainable Digitalisation Towards a Net-Zero Future”.
Organised by the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec), the four-day convention covered two important areas of interest — Selangor’s aspirations towards becoming a smart city and current trends in the digitalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As one of the biggest conferences Sidec has organised, a major highlight was the gathering of 11 mayors and representatives from different smart cities around the world for the Asian Smart City Conference: Mayors Summit.
State executive councillor Teng Chang Khim, in his welcoming speech, thanked the delegation, who shared their achievements in implementing Smart City initiatives.
The 11 cities included Jakarta, Taipei, Asan, Chiang Mai, Amsterdam, Khon Kaen, Seongbuk-Gu, Kaohsiung, Sunshine Coast, Makassar and Rayong.
Selangor menteri besar Amirudin Shari was also present to officiate the convention and together with city representatives, witnessed the recitation of the Selangor Declaration on Sustainable Smart Cities by chief executive officer of Sidec, Yong Kai Ping.
The declaration is a testament to Selangor’s commitment to developing a smart city ecosystem that is in line with the state’s effort to be recognised as a Liveable Smart State in Asean by 2025.
In addition, the conference saw 24 experts from different industries speaking and discussing in panel sessions, ranging from smart mobility to green investment and financing.
Attendees also witnessed the launch of the Selangor Digital School.
“SDS aims to solve the shortage of digital talents in Selangor as we push forward towards digitalisation. SDS is a co-creation project that symbolises the collaboration of the central government, state government, private investors, venture capital funds, startups through Penjana Capital, Sidec, The Hive, EZT Group and DMC,” said Amirudin.
Accelerating Selangor’s Digitalisation
During the Selangor SME Digitalisation Conference, which was part of SDEC 2022, Sidec’s chief executive officer Yong Kai Ping reiterated the corporation’s mission, which is to accelerate Selangor’s digitalisation, especially among e-commerce merchants, startups and SMEs.
He noted that entrepreneurs face an uphill battle in this current climate, but he believes that those who are tough will be able to weather through.
“After two years of skyrocketing growth, valuations and fundraising, due to macroeconomic factors such as high inflation and rising interest rates, the digital economy is also entering a correction period.
“In the last couple of months, we have suddenly started hearing terms like ‘funding winter is approaching’ or ‘winter is here’. Some companies are deferring hiring, reducing burn rate, downsizing, approaching expansion plans cautiously, and focusing on generating positive net income,” said Yong.
Nevertheless, he noted that four categories of startups would continue to do well, because they are solving fundamental problems. These include:
- Circular or recycle economy, which focuses on sustainability
- Digital inclusion, be it related to fintech, 5G, or connectivity
- Food and agriculture technology
- Medical and health technology
The SME conference gathered 19 experts from different backgrounds to discuss and share the current trends in SME digitalisation, creating a platform for SMEs to equip themselves with the tools necessary to thrive.