3rd May 2018, Kuala Lumpur- IDEAS organised a Roundtable Discussion entitled “Malaysia’s path to a Knowledge Economy – Lessons from Home and Abroad”, attended by key officials, lawyers, academics and researchers. The group recognised that the knowledge economy will be a key driver of global economic growth in the future.
- He Jing, Partner, Anjie Law Firm, China
- Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, United States
- Philip Stevens, Director, Geneva Network, United Kingdom
- Azwar Kamarudin, Director of Corporate Affairs, Pfizer, Malaysia
- Berly Martawardaya, Program Director, Institute for Development of Economics and Finance, Indonesia
Among the attendees are Mr Naser Jaafar, CEO of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia, Tany Anthony Kiob, CEO of Malaysia Innovation Foundation as well as senior representative from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) and Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT). Also represented at the event are representatives from the business community and the academic.
The group agreed that the knowledge economy requires innovation and a robust framework for intellectual property rights as a part of its ecosystem. Strengthening intellectual property rights will benefit the host countries by creating more innovators, increasing its GDP per capita and encouraging foreign direct investments. For example, researchers in the US have shown that for every one-unit increase in patent rights, per-capita income increases by $780. The experts noted that the Malaysian pharmaceutical industry is particularly important component of the knowledge economy, and is forecasted to grow at a rate of 4.4% from 2017 to 2022 reaching RM8 billion by 2022.
The group commended Malaysia for the strengths of its innovation Intellectual Property regime, including establishing the Malaysia Innovation Agency, but encouraged the Malaysian government to adopt further reforms to promote the knowledge economy. The key recommendations included:
- Strengthening the role of universities, by supporting incubators and increasing the permeability between universities and the private sector;
- Supporting SMEs with innovation training to help close the productivity gap between smaller and larger firms;
- Placing innovation at the centre of the strategic plan for all government agencies;
- Creating a regulatory framework that encourages experimentation and favours innovation;
- Providing rewards and incentives for collaboration between innovators and local industry; and
- Ensuring the Malaysian education system produces high-skilled workers in scientific fields
Commenting on the roundtable discussions Ali Salman, Acting CEO of IDEAS said: “Intellectual Property (IP) plays a crucial role in promoting innovation in the marketplace. Besides, IP plays a major role in enhancing the competitiveness of IP-concentrated industries. Knowledge economy will be the key drivers of global, sustainable and equitable growth. To get there, strategic fiscal incentives by the government are important. Policymakers, academicians, industry players, lawyers, and relevant stakeholders need to work very closely to fortify Malaysia’s intellectual property rights policies and enforcement.”