WORQ, a Malaysia-based coworking and flex space provider, has announced its collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)’s DE Rantau to launch the WORQ with DE Rantau program.

This collaborative effort aims to support the initiatives to uplift Malaysia’s competitiveness as the destination of choice for global digital nomads and bring high-value jobs in information technology (IT), digital marketing and content creation into Malaysia, WORQ said in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, this is the latest initiative spearheaded by MDEC following the successful MDH and MTEP programs.

This collaboration with DE Rantau also signifies WORQ’s efforts to actively contribute to the development and advancement of the digital economy in Malaysia through providing high-quality, conducive and flexible workspace across all its locations in Malaysia, with a strong WORQ community ready to support the digital nomads from the mental and social aspects while fostering potential collaborations to grow their business.

The WORQ with DE Rantau program is estimated to inject MYR 360 million ($79.07 million) into the Malaysian economy by supporting 6,000 highly skilled workers to the workforce as well as enabling new businesses into the economy.

Each digital nomad is estimated to spend around $1,250 per month with an average time spent in one location between three to nine months.

To date, DE Rantau has issued 536 passes to foreign digital nomads.

This initiative will also be extended to the digital nomads travelling to Alunan Resort on Perhentian Island, in the East Coast state of Terengganu, who will have access to WORQ Express, its seventh and self-service coworking space on the island.

WORQ Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Ping said the program is a step to attract more digital nomads to Malaysia.

“These skilled individuals contribute to the local economy and have become a critical part of the global workforce,

“With this program, we are making Malaysia the destination of choice for the large global workforce as well as businesses looking to set up offices in the region,” she said.

She also said the DE Rantau program’s ambitious goal to secure Malaysia’s position as the top digital nomad destination in the ASEAN region has become a reality.

By participating in the WORQ with DE Rantau program, all pass holders are recognized as WORQ community members and will have access to all WORQ events and community initiatives where they can meet, connect and collaborate with like-minded individuals.

This is part of a larger national initiative to reinforce Malaysia’s position as a global business hub, attracting multinational corporations (MNCs) to set up regional offices in Malaysia and thereby creating high-value jobs in the country, especially in the tech and digital sectors.

At present, foreign companies setting up offices in Malaysia make up about 30 percent to 40 percent of WORQ’s clientele. This initiative to attract foreign digital nomads through the DE Rantau program will further enhance the ability of WORQ to attract foreign companies into Malaysia.

Through this partnership with WORQ, digital nomads can now travel and work remotely across various locations in Malaysia while having access to high-speed broadband connectivity and various other facilities and services that support the nomadic lifestyle.

“WORQ has consistently demonstrated their dedication in nurturing the digital ecosystem,

“They have successfully proven their strong capability to empower global companies to set up offices in Malaysia through the adoption of flexible workspaces, which is the backbone infrastructure for businesses,” said Mahadhir Aziz, Chief Executive Officer of MDEC.

According to him, this collaboration not only addresses the surging demand for digital transformation but also underscores their unwavering commitment to positioning Malaysia as the leading digital hub in ASEAN.

“Through the Malaysia Digital (MD) national strategic initiative and its PEMANGKIN programs, we aim to generate significant economic spillover and enrich the digital economy,

“Together, we are poised to unlock boundless opportunities for digital nomads, drive digital transformation, and foster exceptional economic growth in Malaysia,” he added.

Since its inception in 2017, WORQ has successfully launched seven new outlets and maintained profitability.

By 2030, the coworking space industry is projected to grow to MYR 1.3 billion ($290 million) and with its steadily progressing expansion strategy, the company has aggressive plans to expand its total space under management to 450,000 square feet by 2025.

“In line with the Malaysian Startup Ecosystem Roadmap (SUPER), we recognize the critical role of talent in developing a thriving digital workforce that continuously fosters highly skilled tech professionals. WORQ plays a crucial role in fulfilling our mission by providing a conducive environment and a thriving ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs. By offering a supportive community, WORQ expedites the path to success for startups once they secure funding. We are proud to support WORQ as they embark on this collaboration with DE Rantau and continue to play a significant role as the ecosystem enabler, accelerating the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy as well as the startup ecosystem,” shared Norman Matthieu Vanhaecke, Acting Group CEO of Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle).

WORQ on track to double total space under management to 200,000 sqf by year end