PETALING JAYA: Having successfully defied global market trends by attracting investments from 12 multinational companies (MNCs) in 2018, InvestKL remains bullish, with plans to entice 13 more MNCs this year.
The investment promotion agency attracted approved and committed investments of RM2.3bil last year, at the same time, generating a total of 1,339 jobs.
This year, CEO Datuk Zainal Amanshah said it was zooming in on MNCs from the United States, Europe, China, Japan and South Korea as these countries had well-established firms in the six sectors targeted by InvestKL.
The sectors are smart technologies, consumer technologies, e-commerce, medical devices, industrial automation, as well as energy and renewables.
“InvestKL remains focused on attracting high value, high skilled and innovation-led investments to create quality jobs for Malaysians.
”Despite a slower global economy and US-China trade tensions, our investment pipeline is resilient as investment decisions are made over a longer period.
“We are confident of attracting similar investments this year,” he said in a statement yesterday.
InvestKL, which operates under the purview of the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), is tasked with attracting global multinationals to set up their regional headquarters or business services hub in Greater Kuala Lumpur.
Last year, the investment promotion agency brought in 12 MNCs, which included Fortune 500 companies like French telecommunications corporation Orange, MetLife from the United States, Sweden’s Electrolux, EY from the United Kingdom and Ireland’s Accenture.
The other MNCs include Australia’s Pickles Auctions, China’s United Imaging and Zalora from Germany.
Zainal said at InvestKL’s annual performance briefing that investors were also upbeat about the country’s prospects for Industry 4.0, with Malaysia aiming to become the prime destination for manufacturing and services.
Industry 4.0 refers to the trend of automation, Big Data technology, robotics and analytics in manufacturing technologies.
In October last year, Miti launched the national policy on Industry 4.0, called Industry4WRD, which details the country’s vision for the manufacturing sector over the next 10 years.The blueprint is expected to drive the digital transformation of the country’s manufacturing and related services sectors.Zainal said the policy enhanced the country’s value propositions to investors, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Kuala Lumpur, he said, remained a key investment destination, with strong and stable fundamentals, while the country itself, had considerable advantages in terms of location, infrastructure quality and resources.
“The Malaysian government is concerted in its efforts to deliver 5Cs to investors; clarity, continuity, consistency, confidence and certainty, by driving economic reforms, ensuring greater transparency and improving governance,” he said. He added that investors were positive about the setting up of the Economic Action Council, which is expected to provide clarity on economic policies and speed up the process of decision-making.
In terms of talent, Zainal said InvestKL has been nurturing Malaysian talents under the Malaysia Global Talent programme, which runs programmes to enhance the skills of local talents to be on par with global standards.
Meanwhile, he said InvestKL would be actively promoting collaborations between SMEs and MNCs.
“The aim is to empower these SMEs to move up the value chain and eventually scale out of Malaysia. These partnerships will complement the government’s initiatives to help these firms build “deep enterprise” mindset and capabilities,” he added.
In addition to the investments and job creation, Zainal said the country’s real estate, hospitality, education, medical, tourism, and entertainment industries have all benefitted, with the real estate sector having enjoyed an estimated RM128mil in office space rentals last year.
Over the past seven years since 2011, RM6.63bil or 57% of the RM11.7bil in investments secured by InvestKL have been realised.
Of the 11,693 high-skilled regional jobs generated via these investments, the agency said 64% or 7,516 are already on the payroll, with Malaysians accounting for 80% of those employed, earning an average annual income of RM110,124 or US$26,610.
Among InvestKL’s most recent successes is its deal with AstraZeneca, which saw the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company enter a memorandum of agreement last week to invest more than RM500mil in Malaysia over the next five years.