Like the snake-and-ladder board game, after a steady climb in the global competitiveness ranking to 18th position last year from 25th position in 2012, the recently released Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows Malaysia’s ranking had slid back to where it had been before.
The 2017 Budget that will be unveiled tomorrow has riveted the nation’s attention more so this year than before. Not only has the use of social media greatly raised awareness and participation in the budgetary process, but the broadening of the taxpayer base through the consumption-based Goods and Services Tax (GST) has widened interest on what, why and how the revenue collected by the government should be spent.
A year has passed since the momentous 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was adopted by 193 countries including Malaysia under the auspices of the United Nations.
In Malaysia’s dynamic business landscape, SMEs can become disruptors, be disrupted or continue to operate in the business-as-usual (BAU) ways. For many SMEs, the BAU option across many industries is shrinking as new competitors emerge from within the country and from abroad.
In 1971, the renowned computer scientist Alan Kay quipped that ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’. Approaching half a century later, we might have wished that inventors had not taken his call to action so feverishly. Both overwhelming and inspiring at once, ours is now a world of mind-bending possibilities in robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing, genome editing, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, energy storage, nanomaterials and neuro-technological brain enhancements. Hailed as the fourth industrial revolution, these interconnected technologies cut across physical, digital and biological boundaries, sparing no industry in its transformative wake. Transitions to new manufacturing processes of previous revolutions generally lasted 30-40 years each, from the first (steam power and mechanization) to second (electric power and mass production), and then, the third phase (digital automation) – in other words, we live in exponential times.