By DATUK ZAINAL AMANSHAH / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
In a blink of an eye, we are reaching the end of yet another eventful year. It’s been hard work and our results in terms of investment attraction have been good.
As a city, we gained more visibility as an investment destination and a thriving city both internationally and at home.
We are truly catching the attention of investors (of course more work to be done).
Several great brands launched their regional business hubs in Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL) this year.
This includes Honeywell International Inc (regional principal hub), Oracle Corp (regional digital hub), Givaudan SA (business solutions hub) and of course, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s partnership on the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ).
This is the world’s first DFTZ outside of China and is expected to generate RM700 million worth of investment and create 2,500 job opportunities within the country.
This is in addition to many other great brands announced in previous years which proves that Greater KL can offer what investors desire as a hub.
When it comes to infrastructure, Greater KL is continuously on a game-changing plan to improve the public transport infrastructure.
To sit (MRT) — the Sungai Buloh- Kajang Line saw ridership surpassing the 12 million mark, according to the Ministry of Transport.
This is great news for the population of seven million in Greater KL who commute daily for work and leisure purposes (10 million by 2020).
Our government has made commitments to the MRT phase 2 and the KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR), plus expediting the MRT phase 3 completion by two years.
In fact, under Budget 2018, 73% of the RM210 billion value of projects was focused on rail, including the HSR and the East Coast Rail Link.
These are positive signs that will improve our con- nectivity and make KL an even more liveable city.
KL is also ranked among the world’s 10th most visited city in 2017 by Euromonitor.
With upcoming events in 2018 such as the World Energy City Partnership and United Nations Habitat’s World Urban Forum on the cards, we are definitely stepping up the game for more people to explore KL.
Thus, it has never been more important that we continue looking into the prospects of upgrading our city, its infrastructure and surroundings to make it a more liveable place.
Engagement with Stakeholders
In a recent breakfast session InvestKL jointly hosted with the Kuala Lumpur Mayor Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), we discussed the future of KL with a group of delegates comprising foreign ambassadors and representatives from embassies and international chambers.
While the discussion could have turned into a complaint session, it was a fruitful one where all parties shined light on how KL can tap into its full potential to become even more vibrant, exciting and most importantly, sustainable.
During the breakfast discussion, KL mayor also revealed the DBKL’s RM3 billion budget for 2018, allocated mainly towards the development and maintenance of the city including plans for upkeeping parks, trees, and connecting and maintaining roads.
On top of these, KL is also going green with a proposed 4km cycling track and bicycle-sharing service, with KL car-free mornings held once every two weeks. I must say that the mayor was truly in top form that day.
Judging from another event on the KL-Singapore HSR with the high commissioner of Malaysia to Singapore, KL is definitely getting more interesting.
We had a full house, with more than 17 companies attending; while simultaneously, the HSR industry updates co-hosted with Prasarana Malaysia Bhd to several business chambers in Singapore saw over 100 industry players.
While we continue to compete in the global marketplace for investments with our own unique value propositions, it is certainly heartening that we are garnering the right attention from the right people.
As we round off the year, I take heart that Greater KL will continue to prosper and deliver. Budget 2018 saw the principal hub extended to Dec 31, 2020.
This is exciting news.
We will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to bring this initiative to more multinational corporations (MNCs) in order to entice them to relocate to Greater KL.
Thank you to the Ministry of Federal Territories, DBKL, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Ministry of Finance, Pemudah (Special Task Force to Facilitate Business) and Pemandu (Performance Management and Delivery Unit) for your continuous support.
As we end the year, we have walked the talk, focused on results and outcomes and will continue to commit wholeheartedly to our cause in making Greater KL the city of opportunity within Asean.
With that, I look forward to even greater happenings and a fruitful year ahead for Greater KL.
- Datuk Zainal Amanshah, InvestKL CEO since 2011, brings with him 20 years of private sector experience in senior positions at MNCs, Malaysian companies and startups. You can follow Zainal on Twitter: @Zainalamanshah.
- The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial board or The Malaysian Reserve and its owners.