Business News

Published: Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 12:29:21 AM

InvestKL may attract up to 12 global firms for Greater KL

<B>Hands-on minister:</B> Datuk Raja Nong Chik greeted upon arrival at the InvestKL event recently.

<B>Hands-on minister:</B> Datuk Raja Nong Chik greeted upon arrival at the InvestKL event recently.

PETALING JAYA: InvestKL targets to secure another ten multinational companies (MNCs) to invest in Greater KL in 2013, and if plans sail smoothly, it could even attract up to 12 MNCs.

At the moment, the agency is in talks with five MNCs from the United States, Europe and Japan to make Kuala Lumpur their business hubs.

If the talks are successful, the number of MNCs investing in KL will increase to 22 because thus far, InvestKL has brought in 17 MNCs in collaboration with partners such as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Multimedia Development Corp.

According to InvestKL, the investments from the 17 MNCs are expected to create 15,113 high value jobs and generate gross national income (GNI) of up to RM2.71mil by 2020.

Among these MNCs, six are establishing their centres of excellence, five their operational headquarters, four their shared services centres, one is setting up a hub for its trading of non-petroleum commodities while another for its retail business.

Chief executive officer Zainal Amanshah has been dubbed “a man with a 2020 mission”. Indeed, as he has a mission to attract 100 of the world's largest multinationals from the lists of Fortune 500 or Forbes Global 2000 to invest in Greater KL by that year.

InvestKL, the government entity set up under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) has been in operations since August 2011 and it believed that the ETP and the Government Transformation Programme have also been critical to InvestKL's success.

Under both programmes the initiatives of which have bore results, InvestKL has been able to convince investors that Malaysia is serious about its commitment to transform.

In the 18 months it has been established, Zainal and his team have proven they can deliver results with the strategic oversight provided by the agency's three ministers International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Zainal Abidin and Performance Management and Delivery Unit chief executive and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

“At the same time, there is still a lot of work to do. While we have done much over the past 18 months, we have to work closely with the MNCs to ensure their investment is realised,” Zainal said.

“If they succeed, we succeed.”

He also commended the ministers for lending a big hand for fast-track processing and approvals for all investments through their strategic guidance and support.

“Datuk Raja Nong Chik as the minister-in-charge of the Greater KL National Key Economic Area has been instrumental in helping us achieve our key performance indicators,” said Zainal.

He added that Raja Nong Chik is a very hands-on minister who worked closely with InvestKL to ensure that the agency brought in MNCs that would spur innovation, talent and income growth.

“The minister is very focused on ensuring we bring in high quality investment that will create high value jobs, a high income society and contribute to Malaysia's GNI,” he said.

The 100 hotshot companies InvestKL intends to bring in are expected to contribute RM40bil in GNI and create more than 60,000 jobs by 2020.

InvestKL notes that investors have also been impressed with the Government's focus to improve Greater KL's liveability.

“The commitment to resolve transport woes by constructing the mass rapid transit (MRT) and increase connectivity which, among others, include building the high speed train to Singapore,” the agency said, “The greening of the city and the ongoing work to transform the Klang River into a world-class water front have been positively received.”

Top international talent

To support the MNCs' growth and ensure availability of talent, InvestKL is also working closely with the MNCs to bring in top international talent and is building a pipeline of talent from within the country through tie-ups with institutions of higher learning.

Among the companies already on board, Fortune 500 company Darden Restaurants Inc from the United States will make Malaysia its hub in Asia Pacific.

“We definitely see a lot of potential in this part of the world. We are looking to expand in Asia Pacific and bring some of our brands here,” Darden Inc chairman and chief executive Clarence Otis Jr has been quoted as saying.

The group intends to eventually introduce its chain of restaurants, such as Red Lobster, here and establish a regional operations hub in Malaysia to assist future restaurant growth in the Asian market.

On collaborations with local companies, Darden will also be developing the world's first integrated lobster aquaculture park in Sabah under a US$600mil (RM1.86bil) deal with two Malaysian companies.

French international group and global leader in innovation and high-tech engineering consulting, Altran has set up its regional centre in Greater KL and will be setting up an innovation centre too.

In a report, chairman and chief executive Phillippe Salle said Malaysia was Altran's surest way to foray into South-East Asia.

“We're here for the infrastructure, access to surrounding countries and a wide talent pool.”

He added: “In Europe, we are an innovation centre where we have a pool of engineers who develop patents of their own.”

Salle believes that Kuala Lumpur will offer a fitting environment for Altran to expand in its key areas of business in aviation, automotive, healthcare, telecommunications and smart society.

Philips Malaysia and University of Malaya Specialist Centre are also collaborating to open the region's first sleep disorders centre in July this year.

The first in the region, the Asean Sleep Research and Competence Centre will run clinical research, training and sleep medicine services to raise awareness and provide early diagnosis of sleep disorders.

On board is also Promat, a leading professional fire protection products and systems manufacturer, which will relocate its existing Asia-Pacific operational headquarters in Hong Kong to Greater KL.

This company is the main subsidiary of Belgium's Etex Group, which is headquartered in Brussels.

Other companies InvestKL has brought in are European oleochemicals producer Oleon, which will set up its regional headquarters here to complement its processing plant and leading energy solutions and transport company Alstom, which will open its centre of excellence for regional projects in the city.

Tags / Keywords: News, Business, Business, InvestKL, zainal amanshah, darden, altran, philips and UMSC

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