RM1bil for 'Fund-of-Funds' to invest in high-growth firms

KUALA LUMPUR: A RM1bil allocation has been put aside to set up a "National Fund-of-Funds", says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"I am pleased to share that Khazanah Nasional will launch a Malaysian-focused fund with RM1bn allocation to invest in high growth innovative companies," the Prime Minister said in his keynote address at the inaugural KL20 Summit here on Monday (April 22).

He said the fund represents the government's continued commitment to assist local companies such as bumiputra entrepreneurs, start-ups, and SMEs in line with the Budget 2024 announcement last year.

"The government is also aiming to centralise investment agencies such as the Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (Mavcap) and Penjana Kapital under Khazanah (Nasional)," he added.

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Anwar also announced the signing of agreements involving 25 entities from various sectors of the start-up ecosystem to help create cutting-edge technology ventures in Malaysia.

Among them is the Asean Investment Initiative between Khazanah Nasional, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan and Blue Chip Venture Capital that will invest RM3bil in the South-East Asian and Malaysian business ecosystems.

Anwar also said 12 international venture capital firms will be setting up offices in Kuala Lumpur, which would help Malaysian start-ups get discovered and nurtured to become globally successful.

On semiconductors, he said the nation's substantial hold on the back-end has made it conducive to pursue high-value front-end work, chiefly in integrated circuit (IC) design.

"That is why today, I am pleased to announce the largest IC Design Park in South-East Asia, that will house world-class anchor tenants and collaborate with global companies such as Arm (Holdings plc).

"This is done with the backing of the Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec), with the Selangor state government, and is proof that momentum is already being built up on the ground," he said.

To make Malaysia a true gateway to major economies, Anwar said a city-to-city connection between Kuala Lumpur and Hangzhou will be established so that capital, talent and market access will no longer be obstacles.

Earlier in his speech, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the goal of the KL20 Action Plan was to bring the top 20 start-ups in the world into the country, through the immediate introduction of several measures.

According to Rafizi, the move is aimed at accelerating the critical areas of the start-up ecosystem here.

"The ambition is for Malaysia to be the choice destination for early-stage and growth capital, and to be the centre for world-class entrepreneurs and skilled talent," he said.

He added that it was also the goal for the nation to be a home for world-leading start-ups.

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