Part of the government’s plan to push Malaysia to a high-income economy is focused on the country’s primary economic engine, Greater Kuala Lumpur. To that end, InvestKL was created to help attract multinational companies (MNCs) to the city, touting KL as a premier location for businesses to set up regional headquarters. With excellent connectivity to the rest of the ASEAN region and beyond, a well-developed infrastructure, and a lifestyle that’s easy for expats to embrace, it might be thought that the folks at InvestKL have an easy product to sell. But of course, it’s much more complex than that, and when it involves substantial investment by foreigner MNC leaders who may not be familiar with Greater KL’s assets, the task isn’t as straightforward as one might think.
That makes InvestKL’s continuing successes all the more impressive. Their results year-on-year represent growth and improvement, with nearly three times as many MNCs coming to Greater KL in 2013 than in 2011. It’s a tremendous validation of Malaysia’s efforts to attract these MNCs to KL, and represents the hard work of many people at InvestKL.
As a result of these impressive efforts, InvestKL is on track to draw 100 Fortune 500 and Forbes 2000 MNCs to set up regional headquarters (RHQs) in Greater Kuala Lumpur by 2020, with 32% of its targets met in two and a half years, attracting 15 MNCs in 2013, 11 in 2012, and 6 in 2011.
At a recent media update followed by an exclusive networking event in Putrajaya, Zainal Amanshah, CEO of InvestKL, announced that the 32 MNCs attracted since InvestKL’s inception in July 2011 drew RM2.8 billion in GNI, RM2.2 billion in investments, and created 6,239 high-skilled jobs. In 2013 alone, 15 MNCs established regional headquarters in Greater Kuala Lumpur, with investment of RM600.21 million, contributing a total of RM471.5 million to GNI and creating 610 high-skilled jobs.
“We are delighted to see Greater Kuala Lumpur increasingly becoming a regional headquarters of choice within Southeast Asia, attracting global corporations who are looking to expand into the ASEAN market. The unflagging efforts of the InvestKL team, coupled with strong federal government backing and support from the industry, have brought us one third of the way in just two and a half years. This is a good foundation and with our continued focus we believe there’s more to come,” Zainal said.
He added that from 2011 to 2013, investments in Greater Kuala Lumpur were from a variety of countries including the United States, Europe, Brazil, Australia, Japan, and China. “With global firms from all over the world setting up here or expanding their business, it is a validation of Greater Kuala Lumpur’s appeal of being a cost-competitive location, with a stable political and business climate, a supportive ecosystem and great talent pool – it’s an optimal location for any large MNC to grow in this region. I also want to stress that it has given our local talent tremendous regional opportunities and exposure having been employed by these global MNCs,” he said.
In 2013, the 15 MNCs InvestKL attracted to Greater Kuala Lumpur included, among others, Epson Precision, Hitachi Systems, Linde, Clariant, Cerner, Rentokil Initial, Naton, Colas Rail, Huntsman, Menard, and three global commodity traders. These companies join the 17 MNCs confirmed in 2011 and 2012, which include Schlumberger, Vale, IBM, Worley Parsons, Aecom, Toshiba, Service Source, Alstom, Promat, Darden, Oleon, Philips Healthcare, Cargill, Altran, Agusta Westland, and International SOS.
Zainal was joined at the event by the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO of PEMANDU, Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, Minister of Federal Territories, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan bin Tengku Mansor, the Chairman of InvestKL, Datuk Seri Michael Yam and captains of the industry from leading MNCs and local organisations who received the latest updates on InvestKL’s progress and engaged in conversation over Greater Kuala Lumpur’s outlook for 2014.
For expats already living in Greater KL, this is welcome news as it means Malaysia is reinforcing its desire to diversify and strengthen workforce, drawing from a growing pool of foreign talent. Of course, these MNCs also create plenty of jobs for local residents, too, as Mr Zainal mentioned in his speech, so it’s a mutually appealing result, and KL benefits by continuing to evolve into a true world-class city.
Read This: Invest KL: KL’s Expat Appeal
Source: The Expat magazine March 2014
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