Pro-business strategies to boost Greater KL’s investment ecosystem

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 October 2016 - Today’s Budget 2017 unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak will have a direct and positive impact on investment in the country, according to InvestKL Corporation.

"We are very pleased to see pro-business initiatives in Budget 2017 that will strengthen our ecosystem namely innovation-led activities, broadband, infrastructure development and SMEs,” said InvestKL Chief Executive Officer Datuk Zainal Amanshah, adding that this encouraging move will continue to promote Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia as a pivot to ASEAN and have a multiplier effect on the economy as a whole.

“ We will continue to work closely with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDeC) in the areas of digital content and Research and Development (R&D) to promote high value activities and to further position Kuala Lumpur as a regional headquarters location in Asia. ”

Datuk Zainal Amanshah

MIDA will be allocated a fund of RM522 million and among the industries that will be given emphasis are the chemicals industry, the Electric & Electronics (E&E) industry and R&D activities, while RM162 million allocated to MDeC to implement programmes such as e-commerce ecosystems and the Digital Maker Movement, as well as the introduction of a new location category known as the Malaysia Digital Hub.

On talent, Zainal also praised the Budget for allocating RM7.4 billion higher education funds for 20 public universities and RM4.6 billion to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and institutions to produce a local workforce that meets the various industry requirements and ensure a steady pool of talent into our ecosystem.

Under Budget 2017, government is also committed to strengthen fixed line broadband penetration and quality of broadband with an allocation of RM1 billion to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“We applaud the government’s initiative to double the speed and reduce broadband package prices by 50% for fixed lines”, Zainal said.

Commenting on infrastructure development, Zainal said the initiative will enhance KL’s proposition of great livability and connectivity. Among infrastructure projects planned or are being implemented include the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project (RM34.8 billion), Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT2) and Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) projects (RM36 billion and RM9 billion respectively).

The prime minister also declared that 2017 will be the Startup & SME Promotion Year, in line with the role of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in significantly contributing to the nation's growth and labour market. The government is allocating RM75 million to implement programmes under the SME Master Plan.

"The allocation for SMEs is a continuation of the government's efforts to further spur the economy and also develop entrepreneurs," Zainal said. "It is not only the major industries that will gain, but the small businesses will benefit more, both from the perspective of funds being made available, as well as from the scope of growth opportunities," he added.

The prime minister, who is also the finance minister, announced that foreign investment had increased to RM28 billion, an increase of 32% compared to the previous year. He added that local investment had raised RM60 billion.

Out of the total Budget of RM260.8 billion, the economy received the largest allocation (RM25.9 billion). The prime minister also announced that the expected economic annual growth would rise from 4%-4.5% in 2016 to 4%-5% for 2017.

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