More UK tech firms to invest in M’sia

By BERNAMA / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Five UK technology firms are investing in Malaysia, reinforcing the UK’s long-term commitment in the country as a key partner in trade and investment.

The five firms are Ideagen plc, AuditXprt Inc, BAE Systems plc, Mitra Innovation and SAGE Group plc, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) and the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) announced in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement was issued after KKMM Minister Gobind Singh Deo (picture) received a courtesy call from British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay at his office in Wisma TV, Angkasapuri.

The UK firms’ decision to invest reflects Malaysia’s attractiveness as an investment destination and as a springboard to the wider Asean market.

Gobind said as Malaysia continues to implement technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and cybersecurity, the additional investments by UK tech companies highlighted their confidence that the country is moving in the right direction

“Collaboration in the area of technology is incredibly essential not only to aid economic growth in Malaysia, but also to help encourage innovation and productivity.

“I also hope these investments will open up prospects for businesses in both countries and help ensure we maximise the benefits of technology for our societies and nation,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the new commitments would create many possible win-win situations and unlock synergies that would result in increasing trade and improving technology-related business.

In the same statement, Hay said this kind of long-term investment is a testament to the quality of the talent pool here.

“Collaborations in the technology, AI and cyber security sectors are vital to the modern-day partnership between the UK and Malaysia,” he said.

This latest announcement came following Gobind’s three-day visit to the UK in February, where he led a delegation comprising senior representatives from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia and Commission, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and the National Cyber Security Agency.

Ideagen, which is a global techno- logy company based in Nottinghamshire, will open a centre of excellence in Kuala Lumpur (KL) as part of its global strategy, creating up to 70 technology jobs in Malaysia.

London-based AuditXprt has made KL its South-East Asia hub and plans to recruit up to 17 people in Malaysia in support of its world-leading AI solution to transform regulatory compliance and audit.

“Currently, it is working on a pilot project with a major local bank to automate the latter’s know-your-customer process using its AI solution. The company is also planning to set up an apprenticeship programme in KL to recruit and train people in machine learning and AI,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Mitra Innovation is collaborating with a Malaysian partner to enhance the Malaysian ecosystem by helping to modernise organisations’ technology capabilities through innovation and to improve cybersecurity. It will recruit over 20 people locally, making Malaysia the hub for international growth in Asean.

BAE Systems continues to grow and develop its global engineering centre and expects to achieve a milestone of 500 staff in the near future, with 80% of the roles being filled by local staff.

Britain’s largest technology company SAGE, with operations in Malaysia for more than 20 years, has ambitious plans for growth and continued investment in the Malaysian economy. It delivers accounting, payroll and enterprise management solutions to small and medium enterprises.

Meanwhile, the joint statement also announced that Heriot-Watt University, a Scottish university with a state-of-the-art green campus in Putrajaya, is launching a new three-year data futures scholarship programme in collaboration with MDEC.

The scholarship will increase the recruitment of students to help meet the growing demand for data professionals in the country. The university has committed up to RM2.5 million in fee waivers for students joining programmes over the next three academic years.

In addition, MDEC and DIT are discussing how AI-related best practices can be shared between the two countries. — Bernama