InvestKL 12th Malaysia plan bolster Greater KL's appeal to Global Multinationals

InvestKL CEO, Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli

Agency committed in playing enabler role to attract high-tech investments. Measures to promote green growth & sustainability will draw ESG-conscious investors

Kuala Lumpur (5 October 2021): InvestKL is confident that the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) unveiled by the government will help enhance Greater KL’s appeal to multinational corporations (MNCs) and fast-growing companies, particularly initiatives related to propelling growth in Global Services (GS) operations and the transition to a greener economy.

The agency is at the forefront to play its enabler role and contribute towards the successful implementation of the 12MP to strengthen the competitiveness of the national economy and position Malaysia as an important player in the global supply chain for complex and high value-added products and services.

InvestKL Chief Executive Officer, Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli said the proposed measures under 12MP will reinforce Greater KL’s standing as a leading location for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), sustainable and innovation-led investments in the region. This will in turn contribute to growth in the Malaysian economy in the next five years and beyond.

“We are pleased with the government’s focus in encouraging our local companies, especially the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to be more technologically savvy and move up the value chain as that will help create a more conducive ecosystem for the global MNCs to work with,” Azmi said.

Efforts to strengthen the MSMEs and transforming this sector into a new driver of growth give an added boost to InvestKL’s Greater Kuala Lumpur Live Lab (GKL Live Lab) programme, which aims to attract global companies to collaborate with Malaysian players to elevate GKL’s competitive advantages for quality, innovation-led and knowledge-intensive activities. , Azmi added.

“All these measures under 12MP will give Greater KL a big push forward as we accelerate efforts to invite more MNCs to set up a regional base here.”

Launched in April, GKL Live Lab has since secured three companies under the programme – achieving its 2021 target ahead of schedule.

In the five-year blueprint tabled by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in parliament recently, GS is one of the strategic and high-impact industries that the government will focus on to drive growth by leveraging advanced technology and digitalisation, in line with the National Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Policy and the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint.

This bodes well with InvestKL’s 10-year strategic plan to attract the next 100 MNCs and fast-growing companies to set up regional services and technology hubs in Malaysia, expected to garner a total of RM20 billion in new investments through 2030.

“Globally, companies are shifting to bundle key strategic services for business units into one single location in the face of the rapid changes in business model and the dynamics. This trend brings opportunities for the establishment of more GS operations. As we create a more supportive ecosystem under 12MP, we will stand a better chance in seizing these opportunities,” Azmi said.

The government is aiming to generate high value-added activities and products, advanced technology adoption, R&D and innovation and quality employment opportunities through the further development of strategic industries such as GS.

GS, which comprise Principal Hubs, Global Business Services and headquarters operations, is the main contributor of foreign direct investments (FDI) in the services sector. Approved investments in GS by multinational companies amounted to RM46.1 billion, which constitutes 51.7% of the total FDI in the services sector from 2016 to 2020.

To date, Malaysia is home to 579 GBS with MSC status while another 349 are various operational headquarters employing 146,478 knowledge workers.

In the transition towards a greener economy, Malaysia has committed to reduce up to 45% of greenhouse gas emissions intensity to gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, based on 2005 emissions level. More private sector companies will be encouraged to declare their aspiration to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Efforts in advancing green growth and sustainability are timely to help convince investors who are increasingly paying more attention to the ESG principles about Malaysia’s commitments in decarbonisation. The pandemic has accelerated the global shift towards a green economy and ESG is a major criteria that will affect companies' decision making going forward,” Azmi said.

Under the 12MP, Malaysia will advance green growth by implementing the clean, green and resilient development agenda through the whole-of-nation approach. Green growth drivers such as enhancing the management and protection of natural resources, embracing the circular economy, moving towards becoming a low-carbon nation, and increasing climate change resilience are prioritised in the development roadmap. These goals are also manifested in the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030, designed to steer the nation through its next stage of economic and social transformation.

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