Get All Access for $5/mo

The Policies Countries Introduced in 2018 to Foster Entrepreneurship in APAC From Malaysia to India, governments took several steps to boost the startup world

By Komal Nathani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


It goes without saying that government's role in strengthening the entrepreneurial spirit plays an important role in the better development of the business ecosystem.

In today's technologically driven world, every day a new sector catches the attention of entrepreneurs and investors around the world. As much as entrepreneurs like to experiment, they always keep looking for opportunities within the system that can give them an advantage. One of these systems is local government. As one of the key players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, policymakers enforce laws that make it difficult or possible for entrepreneurs to thrive.

As we step into 2019, we take a look back at what these policy makers did for entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific region and how it is going to help them in the long run.

Malaysia's Entrepreneurship Ministry

In the highly competitive entrepreneurial ecosystem of Southeast Asia, Malaysia is not the one to stay behind. The country is going all out to foster entrepreneurial spirit in people.

Earlier this year, the Pakatan Harapan-led government took some key measures to rejuvenate the spirit of entrepreneurship. It set up an entrepreneurship ministry, commonly known as Gabem, the Federation of Malay Economic Bodies. The ministry will help in increase in Bumiputera equity ownership of Malay entrepreneurs from 23 per cent to 30 percent.

Malaysian government has planned to achieve 30 percent ownership by 2020, which is why government-linked investment companies invest in more Bumiputera-owned companies.

India's Drone Policy

Indian government took a progressive step to include drone policy in its plan. The country never had any policy for drones before this. In fact, flying drones was illegal earlier in the subcontinent. But from December, the government legalized drones across the country.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has finalised a national drone policy, and has fixed parameters - including height - for drone flights. From the outset the policy outlines a No Drone Zones. The regulation defines "No Drone Zones" as areas around airports, near international border, State Secretariat Complex in state capitals, strategic locations, vital military installations and such.

Looking at its varied applications, the Indian government is pushing drone startups with its free regulations.

Hong Kong's Inno-tech Push

In budget 2018, Hong Kong made its strong move towards the smart banking era with a series of key initiatives for fintech sector. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) introduced the Open Application Programming Interface (API) framework for the country's banking sector.

The framework covers Open API functions and deployment timeframe, technical standards on architecture, security and data, and third-party service providers' governance model. The Faster Payment System (FPS) was activated in September. Participating banks and stored value facility (SVF) operators enable their customers to make and receive real-time payments across different banks or SVFs with the use of mobile numbers or email addresses. The country is also moving fast to its development through blockchain technology. The trade finance platform, eTradeConnect, was developed by 12 major banks in Hong Kong, which aims to improve trade efficiency and reduce risks.

Asia's Biggest Digital Hub

Singapore government came up with a slew of initiatives to make the country's digital infrastructure smarter. This year the government of Singapore revealed its plan under the new Digital Government Blueprint. The Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the digital transformation would put citizens at the centre as in a few years' time; the people will be able to apply for nearly all their government dealings online. Apart from being able to access every single government service online, they will also be able to complete between 90 per cent and 95 per cent of transactions with the government digitally by 2023.

Singapore has been raising major amount of investments this year because of the country's regulatory regime and its support for technologies like blockchain, IoT and AI.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!


Why Entrepreneur Stands Against the PRO Act

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act could do lasting harm to the small-business and franchise community.


What Lawmakers Don't Understand About the PRO Act, According to Franchise Owners

Lawmakers are confused about what franchising is, and are threatening the whole business model with a bad bill, experts say.


Women Franchise Owners Fear the PRO Act

Franchising helped them become small business owners, and they don't want to be forced back under the corporate thumb.

Business News

How to Start Your Dream Business This Weekend, According to a Tech CEO Worth $36 Million

He started his now 14-year-old company in one weekend for $60 — it made $300,000 the first year, and $3 million the second.

Side Hustle

This Mom Started a Side Hustle on Facebook — Now It Averages $14,000 a Month and She Can 'Work From a Resort in the Maldives'

Heather Freeman was searching for a way to make some extra cash — and her cousin gave her a great idea.