Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak signing a plaque before chairing the 7th Global Science and Inovation Advisory Council Annual Meeting in New Delhi today. Bernama Photo

NEW DELHI: Malaysia places great importance on the development of its digital economy and bioeconomy as they are essential components of its curent and future economic growth.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, speaking at the seventh Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) Annual Meeting here today, said this year's theme would focus on accelerating the digital economy and bioeconomy.

Both high technologies were extremely innovative and have a strong growth trajectory in India and that Indian companies also have a strong presence and investments in Malaysia, he said.

Najib, who on a six-day official visit to India, said he recently launched the first Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in the world, outside China.

"The DFTZ, in partnership with e-commerce giant, Alibaba, in the initial phase, will merge physical and virtual zones, with additional online and digital services to facilitate international e-commerce and invigorate Internet-based innovation," he said.

Najib said bioeconomy was also an area Malaysia felt has enormous potentials, given the abundance of its natural resources and the importance of agriculture and agro-based industries to the economy and people.

The premier said convening the GSIAC here and the participation of leading academicians, thinkers and captains of industry could provide important insights towards accelerating developments in the digital economy and bioeconomy for Malaysia.

Based on several economic statistics and reports that showed Malaysia's enormous growth in various field despite ongoing challenges, Najib said, he was confident the nation was on track to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income nation within the next few years.

"What we must do is to always be prepared for changing conditions and external shocks that are beyond our control. We must maintain our forward momentum," he said.

GSIAC was established and convened for the first time on May 17, 2011 in New York as Malaysia recognised the need to intensify domestic and international networks for research collaboration, strategic partnerships and business relationships. - BERNAMA

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