Tech

Dennis Wafula

MDEC pilot digital freelancer program to identify blockchain talent

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a company that seeks to lead it’s country’s digital economy, is working with the Malaysian Immigration Department to pilot a work visa for tech freelancers, beginning with foreign blockchain capable talent.

The visa program allows tech freelancers to work in Malaysia in the short-term with the idea of fulfilling the demand for blockchain capable talents. According to the MDEC Growth Ecosystem Development Vice President, Norhizam Abdul Kadir, the proposal white paper has been submitted to the Immigration Department and the Home Ministry for the digital freelancer program. The programs key objective is to encourage foreign talent to work in Malaysia.

MDEC will be working with Nem Foundation, a blockchain organization, and Jobbatical, an Estonian cross-border job marketplace. Nem foundation will define the talent needed. Jobbbatical, on the other hand, will supply the required talent. The Immigration Department will help to approve the qualified talent by providing the named persons with the PVP,whereas MDEC will play a significant role in facilitating the entire process.

During the Malaysia Tech Week 2019, held in Bangsar South, Kadir said, “We will be kick-starting it (the program) off starting with blockchain jobs. The number of visas to be issued depends on the projects that will be run by blockchain companies in Malaysia.”

According to Jasmine Ng the CEO of Nem Malaysia, the program would not only encourage tech tourism but also upskill local staff as the new talent works together with the local talent. When asked how many employees Nem intends to bring in, Jasmine said that the number is directly related to the overall cost of maintaining the new talent. The cost of international talent, especially with a skillset in programming and blockchain, demands for relatively higher salaries.

The Digital Freelancer Program is a first of its kind proposal from the Malaysian Innovation Policy Council (MIPC), after it convenes for the first time after a week. Through MDEC, the council was introduced earlier in the yearas a platform to drive growth in the tech industry. The platform will promote policies and regulations, which encourage innovation.

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