Southeast Asia has potential to attract more venture capitalists - KWAP

KWAP chief investment officer Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: Southeast Asia (SEA) possesses the potential to attract an increasing number of venture capitalists as the valuation gap among regional startups converges, according to Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP) chief investment officer Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin.

Hazman said the region is witnessing growing interest from capital locators and investors as valuations undergo downward adjustments.

"I would say that regarding Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, we are at the forefront of improvement when it comes to ability, likability, and visibility.

"In terms of ability, there is a huge and strong talent pool coming to Malaysia. As for likability, we have a government that is more (business) friendly, with interesting incentives and policies,” he said during a panel session titled "Venture capital in Asia: Why SEA is poised to continue attracting capital in the next decade” at the KL20 Summit 2024 here today.

Hazman also highlighted the cost advantage of operating from Malaysia compared to neighbouring countries, which supports the profitability story.

Earlier today, the Securities Commission Malaysia announced plans to introduce a Venture Capital (VC) Golden Pass, streamlining the registration process for eligible international VCs setting up in Malaysia.

This initiative aims to expedite VC registration from the current six weeks to two weeks, subject to fulfilling stipulated requirements under the SC’s Focused Scope Assessment framework.

In addition, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced during the KL20 Summit 2024 opening that sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, KWAP, and Blue Chip Venture Capital will collectively invest up to RM3 billion in Southeast Asian and Malaysian ecosystems under the ASEAN Investment Initiative.

The KL20 Summit 2024, spearheaded by the Ministry of Economy, aims to reinvigorate Malaysia’s position as a vibrant hub for startups and venture capitalists and propel Kuala Lumpur into the ranks of the top 20 global startup hubs by 2030. - Bernama

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KWAP , KL20 , VC , SEA , Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin


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