Penang, Malaysia: WITSA’s 26th World Congress on Innovation and Technology (WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA) concluded on its third day, on September 15, 2022 at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Penang, Malaysia. The spectacular event featured some 4,000 industry executives, government leaders, visionaries, innovators, academics and media from over 60 countries. Commonly referred to as the ‘Olympics of the World’s Information Technology Industry’, WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA featured a compelling event-filled program with more than 200 speakers, covering keynote speeches, business forums, roundtable discussions and interactive panels centered around topics such as new innovative technology, NFTs, Smart City development, SpaceTech, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, 5G, EduTech, Blockchain, HealthTech, E-Commerce and the furtherance of the world’s economic growth post-pandemic.
Delegates and speakers gathered in beautiful Penang to discuss the impact, challenges, and opportunities around WITSA’s vision of Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age, with special emphasis on Connecting and Transforming the World. Fulfilling the promise of the Digital Age envisions everyone on earth benefiting from innovations in digital technologies that bring about prosperity and opportunities to all corners of the world and how doing so will enrich populations, countries as well as the companies that drive our innovation economy by expanding the global marketplace and fostering sustainability.
Dr. Sean Seah, the newly elected WITSA Chairman and Chairman of PIKOM and Organizing Chairman of WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA said “the congress serves as a testament to the dynamic nature of WCIT, with multiple global stakeholders coming together to make this edition a resounding success. Malaysia hosting WCIT 2022 was both timely and opportune as we undergo economic recovery, pushing boundaries towards aggressive digitalization.”
“For those of us fortunate enough to already benefit from the Digital Age, we enjoy vast improvements in communications, education, health care, access to information, transportation, financial services, agriculture, inclusion, medical research, improved production, efficiencies, as well as in our personal and professional growth,” stated WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant. “As leaders of the innovation tech industry, we are uniquely positioned to positively affect humankind by sharing the wealth of these benefits with others,” continued Dr. Poisant.
WITSA CEO Dato’ Dan E. Khoo congratulated the WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA organizers PIKOM, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), HRD Corp, the Penang government, and the delegates for successfully hosting and participating in the successful and memorable congress. WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA was organized by PIKOM, strategically enabled by MDEC and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia as well as HRD Corp and the Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia and hosted by the Penang State Government. “WCIT 2022 succeeded as a platform to stimulate the conversations of tomorrow; drive collaboration with other participating economies and spearhead the quantum leaps of transformations through technological adoption, digital innovation, and foreign investment” stated Dato’ Khoo.
Commenting on the significant moment, WITSA Chairman Dr. Seah, confident that these agreements will serve Malaysia in multiple ways, said “the success of WCIT 2022 certainly cannot be overlooked as we have minimized the technological divide between Malaysia and some of the most developed countries in the world. We have also secured many new job opportunities through foreign and domestic digital investments. We will continuously seek to improve infrastructure, increase employment, foster technological innovation, and ultimately, advance forward as a nation actively pursuing technological excellence”, continued Dr. Seah.
WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA was the latest in WITSA’s 44-year storied history to host a World Congress on Innovation and Technology, with previous locations spanning nearly every corner of the world, from Washington, D.C., Toronto, Montreal, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Athens, Austin, San Francisco, Barcelona, Taipei, Yerevan, Dhaka, Hyderabad, Brasilia, Guadalajara, and others.
Contributing to WITSA’s vision of Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age as well as the theme of WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA; “Connecting and Transforming the World,” the program put a spotlight on how best to bring about the benefits of digital technology to children, citizens, governments, education, science, healthcare, the environment, industries and societies as well as nearly every aspect of our life.
WCIT 2022 MALAYSIA also featured the WITSA 2022 Global Innovation and Tech Excellence Awards, one of WITSA’s most popular programs which was started over 20 years ago, celebrating the innovative and impactful achievements of select individuals, academic institutions, corporations, NGOs and governments. At the September 14th Award Ceremony, 20 private and public sector organizations from four different continents were selected to receive the 2022 WITSA Awards and its highest award, the Eminent Person Award was bestowed upon Dato’ Hock E. Tan, one of this generation’s technology pioneers and a significant philanthropist, and Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, a Malaysian politician, author, and physician who served as the fourth and seventh prime minister of Malaysia. The Right Honorable Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang, was given the 2022 WCIT Most Valuable Person Award, which recognizes the leadership and tremendous strides made by an individual in advancing the ideals embodied by the spirit of the WCIT.
Penang is already home to 39 Fortune 1000 companies and is a key player in the global semiconductor and manufacturing industry. The island also has over 1,000 thriving tech startups and 300 Multinational Corporations. At WCIT 2022, more than RM46 billion worth of foreign and domestic digital investments were announced, signifying new investments pouring into Malaysia by some of the biggest companies in the global technology and digital arena. These agreements are set to further progress Malaysia’s technological advancements, as the country seeks to cement its position as a global digital innovation hub within the vast Asian geography.
The technology sector is one of the fastest growing in the Malaysian market, contributing 19.1% of the country’s GDP in 2019 and expected to reach 22.6% by 2025. According to a report by GlobalData Market Opportunity Forecasts, spending on ICT in Malaysia will reach US$25.2 billion by 2023.
“WCIT 2022 has positively positioned Penang on the world map as a global technological and innovation hub”, stated WITSA Secretary General Dr. Jim Poisant. “Besides being home to some of the world’s leading tech companies, the successful fruition of this event has demonstrated that this ‘Silicon Island’ has even greater potential to thrive as the center for innovation and technological advancements”. “I would like to therefore congratulate everyone, especially all participants and stakeholders of WCIT 2022.”
The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) is the leading recognized international voice of the global ICT industry, whose members from over 80 countries and economies represent more than 90 percent of the world ICT market. WITSA is dedicated to advocating policies that advance industry growth and development; facilitating international trade and investment in ICT products and services; strengthening WITSA’s national industry associations; and providing members with a broad network of professional contacts. WITSA hosts the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), the premier global industry sponsored ICT conference.
WITSA members are leaders in a globally interconnected marketplace. Because the challenges facing the ICT industry are undisputedly global in nature, WITSA members work together to achieve a shared vision on important issues of common interest. WITSA makes it possible for its members — ranging from Mongolia and Argentina to Kenya and the United States — to identify common issues and priorities, exchange valuable information, and present a united position on industry issues.