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KL20 Action Plan Announced to Attract More Tech Investment

KL20 Summit 2024 | Image Credit: Malaysiakini
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Malaysia has just launched its new KL20 initiative, aimed at bringing a fresh wave of major tech investment to the country.

On April 22nd and 23rd, Malaysia hosted a summit attended by some 3,000 local and international people from the tech world.

KL20 Summit 2024 was primarily aimed at launching the government’s latest initiative to attract start-ups to consider Malaysia as a place to invest. It offers several new passes, including a VC Golden Pass, the Innovation Pass, and the Unicorn Golden Pass, all aimed at attracting suitably qualified investors, company founders, and other tech talent. There are a host of support facilities for those organisations which relocate here, including funding.

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim stated that “the ambition is for Malaysia to become the preferred destination for early-stage and growth capital, to be a hub for world-class entrepreneurs and skilled talent, and to be the home for world-leading startups looking to start, grow, and scale.”

Endeavoring to attract more tech investment in Malaysia is nothing new. The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) was introduced in 1996 to attract tech investments. Companies that relocated to the designated area were offered special privileges. The MSC was an area stretching from the middle of Kuala Lumpur out to Cyberjaya and KLIA. The Malaysia Digital Economy (MDEC) was formed to support the initiative and expand the digital economy in Malaysia. It has been quite successful as the digital economy is getting close to accounting for a quarter of the country’s GDP.

Apparently, the KL20 summit should matter to everyone

The current initiative seems to be an expansion of existing initiatives to bring further growth to this sector. MDEC’s passes, which are aimed at tech investors and talent, have had limited success although there has been more interest in their digital nomad visa. The expansion of the number of passes may succeed in attracting more talent, but given the limited take-up for the MDEC passes, much-publicized problems with the MM2H visa, and reported difficulties with employment passes it may prove quite challenging to get the desired take-up.

We hope the government will ensure that there is proper marketing support behind this initiative and that all visas aimed at foreigners become a focus for improvement, while of course maintaining the appropriate security checks.

To learn more about the KL20 initiative, CLICK HERE.

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