Why Kuala Lumpur is garnering investments from next-gen digital MNCs

Over five decades, Kuala Lumpur has evolved to become a dynamic, digital and diverse regional hub in Asia.

The evolution of Kuala Lumpur (KL) has been remarkable – from a tin mining town to a major regional hub with diversified industries, including global semiconductors, banking and capital markets, prime grade real estate developments, world-class universities and multimodal transport hubs for international aviation, rail and shipping.

KL’s next transformation path is pivoting towards next-generation digital industries, from digital e-platforms, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, advanced medical technologies through to high-value Global Business Services (GBS).

In addition to a suite of attractive tax incentives for high-tech sector investments, KL is gaining global  investors’ attention as Asia’s truly 3 D city that is dynamic, digital and diverse. In contrast to other high-density cities in the region, KL has balanced growth attributes, including a green ecosystem, rapid growth dynamics, integrated transport facilities, world-class connectivity, future-ready multilingual talent and high-technology capabilities.

KL stands future-ready to be Asia’s next strategic investment hub –it has the right balance of talent and dynamic business ecosystem to optimize regional operating models and to elevate corporations’ expansion into ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the challenging global business environment, leading multinational corporations (MNCs) were optimizing their business models to aspire for “high-value, high-impact” central operating models. The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed the acceleration of MNCs’ decisions to centralize their Asia-Pacific operations in the most strategic and cost-competitive location to better manage their supply chain management activities.

In optimizing operating models, the search for flexible tax regimes becomes imperative. Malaysia’s flexible tax regime, including the Principal Hub incentive and high-tech sector incentives, has attracted MNCs to locate their regional headquarters operations in KL. The recent wave of global investors include Industry 4.0 high-technology manufacturers and service providers.


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