The Malaysia government will organize a startup convention in the near future, among other things, to produce more local technopreneurs, the senate (Dewan Negara) was told on Wednesday.

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said that the development of startup companies is a prerequisite for accelerating the country’s economic transition towards technology and digital-based industries, national news agency Bernama reported.

He said the government would also ensure that the venture capital ecosystem continues to be strengthened to expedite the formation of technology-based startups.

“This includes special initiatives to gather funding from government-linked companies (GLCs). Furthermore, emphasis will also be given to investors and early-stage startups to empower more local talents as technology creators and developers,” he said when tabling the motion on the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review.

It was reported that the government plans to make Kuala Lumpur a regional hub for startup companies and the digital industry to attract investments and digital talents, with the goal of positioning Malaysia among the top 20 countries in the global startup ecosystem by 2030, the report added.

Rafizi added that the government had allocated grants totalling MYR266 million ($56.73 million) this year to local startup companies to create more unicorn-level companies.

Out of this amount, MYR63.9 million ($13.63 million) has been disbursed to date, he said.

Malaysia’s Science & Technology Ministry looks into VCs’ suggestions to support tech startup ecosystem