InvestKL attracts US$2.8 bil investment into Greater KL
By Digital News Asia April 2, 2018
- Average annual income of jobs created at US$29,700
- Ripple effect on local firms in build capabilities, boosting productivity
ESTABLISHED in 2011 with a mandate to attract new 100 multi-national corporations to Greater KL, Investment Promotion Agency InvestKL has thus far brought in 73 MNCs which have committed to invest US$2.86 billion (RM11.07 billion), which will lead to creating more than 10,971 high skilled jobs.
Twelve of the MNCs, which InvestKL dubs the 3Bs, came in last year. “We call them 3Bs - big names, with big businesses providing big opportunities,” explained InvestKL CEO, Zainal Amanshah at its annual performance briefing. With 10 MNCs targeted this year, Zainal says InvestKL is confident of achieving its 100 companies target in 2020.
A snapshot over the past seven years from 2011-2017, reveals that US$1.16 billion (RM4.5 billion) or 41% of the US$2.86 billion investments have been realised. In addition, 5,831 or 53% of the 10,971 high-skilled regional jobs are already on the payroll. Impressively, 80% of those employed are Malaysians with an average annual income of US$29,705 (RM114,676).
Zainal reaffirms that the focus remains on attracting high value and high skilled investments and with a more digital skew. “This year, we aim to attract more MNCs who have access to the digital space and advanced technologies, Internet of Things or Industry 4.0 technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics and cyber security.”
The 73 MNCs have established various centres which include principal hubs, global business services, their regional headquarters and regional centres of excellence in KL. “The opportunities they offer are transformative and empowering, from regional jobs, upskilling our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), creating a multiplier effect on the local economy and collaborating with local universities to develop an industry-ready talent pool,” Zainal emphasised.
The real estate, hospitality, education, medical, tourism, and entertainment industries have all benefitted with the real estate sector having enjoyed an estimated RM49.4 million in new office space rentals since 2011,” he added.
Local companies and SMEs are reaping the benefits of having MNCs in town. “Revenues, number of employees, and the scale of these businesses have grown. At the same time, partnerships with MNCs have enabled some of our SMEs to compete on a global field as they benefit from working on a breadth of international projects,” Zainal said.
MNCs are also assisting local companies to catalyse the development of their digital business, and mobilise digital technologies to build capabilities as well as boost productivity.
All these were showcased at InvestKL’s Innovation Showcase 2018 themed “Impacting Malaysian Lives” which was graced by Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak.
Among the 2017 investments were by Fortune 500 companies such as the world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health, Air Liquide; global insurer, AXA; and global leader in flavours and fragrances, Givaudan. The breadth of investments illustrates the abilities of Malaysian talent to be at the forefront of innovation and digitalisation.
“Air Liquide’s Smart Innovative Operations Centre, AXA’s Business Services and IT Hub in Asia and Givaudan Business Solutions Asia Pacific are strong endorsements of the Malaysian ecosystem and a testament that our talent are of high-quality and global standards. These will help boost Malaysia’s efforts to become a regional business, innovation and talent hub,” said Zainal.
The other MNCs which have established regional hubs in KL in 2017 include Fortune 500 companies, PPG Industries (US); SK Mobility (Korea); and Allianz (Germany), Forbes Global 2000 corporations, Givaudan (Switzerland) and Veolia (France); as well as hidden champions, Haskell (US); Felio Sylvania (China); Dimension Data (South Africa); and Peri (Germany).
Kuala Lumpur: an ideal city for regional expansion
Zainal also reiterated that Malaysia remained a key investment destination. “Our country has been stable with excellent infrastructure and talent pool as well as clear policies. These are the essential factors investors look at which differentiates us from other cities.”
In addition, Malaysia is at the forefront of building a digital economy in ASEAN as the govenment rolls out digital blueprints, online e-commerce and the world’s first Digital Free-Trade Zone.
“Kuala Lumpur is strategically located in Asean and the government’s national digital economy initiative gives us an added edge, on top of the city’s compelling propositions. We have become more business friendly, thanks to the collective efforts of our key stakeholders. More initiatives are underway as we strive to ensure KL becomes one of the easiest cities globally to do business.
In the Expat City Ranking 2017, Malaysia was ranked 15th as the best country to stay and work, moving up 23 places from the 38th spot in 2016. This was also echoed by Mercer's 2017 Cost of Living Survey where Malaysia was ranked 165th, one of the world’s least expensive cities for expatriates.
InvestKL’s stakeholders include Federal Territory Ministry, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, KL City Hall, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Immigration, Customs departments and other investment promotion agencies.