Greater KL Leads Malaysia to an Impressive Surge

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As the primary economic engine of the country, Greater Kuala Lumpur is likely to reap significant rewards from Malaysia’s recent leap forward in a key economic ranking.

A critical component towards building a thriving economy in today’s global marketplace is creating and sustaining a competitive and attractive environment for foreign investment. Whether that investment comes from the expansion or relocation of multinational companies’ operations into Malaysia, or through foreign direct investment, this global inflow of capital is a vital cog in the wheel of a healthy and diverse economy. All of this, of course, depends on developing an appealing business infrastructure and showing foreign investors that Malaysia and it’s economic hub, Greater Kuala Lumpur, are excellent options in the region, offering greater flexibility, better business support, and more attractive lifestyle options than many of its regional counterparts. As foreign investors realise the benefits of setting up shop in Greater Kuala Lumpur, the overall confidence in the market grows. In short, success breeds success.

Malaysia’s drive towards becoming a location of choice for business in Asia has recently been validated in a big way in AT Kearney’s 2014 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index. Among the top 25 countries in the study, Malaysia is this year’s highest mover, jumping 10 places to 15th position. It’s a terrific affirmation of the country’s efforts, and a beacon of a bright economic future for Malaysia and Greater Kuala Lumpur.

“These findings are testament to the hard work of Malaysians and the Malaysian government in making the country and its economic capital, Greater Kuala Lumpur, a location of choice for international investors and businesses,” said Zainal Amanshah, CEO of InvestKL, Greater Kuala Lumpur’s investment promotion agency. “The government has invested significantly over the years to offer a competitive ecosystem for companies to invest and set up their regional HQs in Greater Kuala Lumpur. We believe that this validation will provide greater assurance to MNCs looking to set up here – after all, 300 of their peers have spoken.”

According to the study, Asia attracts approximately one-third of all FDI and remains a top destination for international investors. The study noted that the region is showing more resilience than others in the face of continued investor reluctance, with inflows down only 5% from 2011’s all-time high.

Zainal agrees, stating that, despite concern over emerging markets, “Malaysia’s leap from the bottom of the top 25 demonstrates the importance of creating the right environment for investors and companies to prosper. We as a nation still have more to do, but this ranking – as well as the 38 large global MNCs that have already chosen to set up or expand their operations in Greater Kuala Lumpur since July 2011 – are proof we are on the right track.”

Historically, the top 10 countries on the list consistently receive 50% or more of global FDI inflows and Malaysia has demonstrated its willingness and efforts to enter that category.

As to how InvestKL plans to do its part in helping Malaysia move into the top 10 of the FDI Confidence Index, Zainal said, “We are focusing on bringing in quality investments from service and knowledge intensive industries – we believe that only in this way can we truly move up the value chain, from a manufacturing economy to a high-technology, high skilled economy. That is InvestKL’s purpose – to support Malaysia’s transition to a high-income economy through attracting investments that will power the growth of Greater Kuala Lumpur.”

Read This: Invest KL: KL’s Expat Appeal

Source: The Expat magazine July 2014


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