An article in the Bernama on April 5th announces that Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV) has organised a one-day session on “Developing Digital Content Industry” (run today) to facilitate the growth of digital content and development in Malaysia. The forum includes two sessions: “Addressing the Issues and Challenges” and “Building the Roadmap”.

An MDV spokesman indicates the support the Malaysian Government is giving to the industry:

“The government has committed to the industry and it has identified as one of the high growth areas in the MyICMS 886 (Malaysian Information, Communication and Multimedia Services 886) strategy.”

This brings Malaysia in line with many other government in the region that are viewing the ‘digital content industry’ as a high growth sector and that are designing specific policies to develop the ’emerging’ sector.

“However, as the sector is nascent, strong government support and more frequent open dialogue sessions such as this would ensure the strategy and implementation plans are carried through to ensure the success of this sector.”

‘Strong government support’ however, tends to be somewhat of an ambiguous term, and could feasibly range from promotional activities to subsidies, and from providing a conducive regulatory environment to the provision of wholesale tax concessions.

The 886 Implementation Plan (here in PDF format) targets 8 ICT sectors, 8 key infrastructures, and 6 growth areas, of which “Content Development” is one. While the plan is only a superficial summary of policies that are being implemented, on the content front at least the focus appears to be firmly on the development of local content and the potential for this Malaysian content to become a “sizeable export revenue contribution”.