The centre assumes a vital role in ensuring that Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination for foreign businesses
by S BIRRUNTHA
THE Covid-19 pandemic has affected business travel worldwide as governments restricted travels, forcing investors and technical executives to work remotely.
To mitigate the impact, the Government of Malaysia set up its One Stop Centre (OSC) initiative to ease the movement of business travellers — from entry to exit point. The centre assumes a vital role in ensuring that Malaysia remains an attractive investment destination for foreign businesses.
The initiative was launched in October last year by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Ministry of Health (MoH), Department of Immigration Malaysia, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB).
A key component of the OSC is the recently introduced Business Travellers Centre (BTC) located at Gate C36, Satellite Terminal at KLIA, which is now open for short-term foreign business travellers planning to carry out their business tasks in the country.
MIDA CEO Arham Abdul Rahman said the government is currently undertaking additional initiatives to drive foreign investments, such as digitising selected government services and providing tax incentives. He added that this includes implementing the OSC to facilitate the entry of business travellers into the country.
“The OSC initiative allows senior executives and specialists to enter the country on either a short-term or long-term basis. It also ensures the legitimacy and health status of travellers prior to their entry into Malaysia.
“The BTC helps create a seamless experience for business travellers arriving to Malaysia. It provides fast-track services from arrival to departure, including being received during disembarkation from flights by duty officers, meeting with liaison officers, RT-PCR swab testing for Covid-19, immigration clearance and transport to accommodation and other destinations approved by the OSC in advance,” he noted.
He said a critical part of the arrival process is downloading the MySejahtera app, in which business travellers will be able to monitor their health risk to the pandemic and provide MoH with the necessary information to plan for early and effective countermeasures.
Citing an example, Arham said for 20 years, the Malaysian operations of German steel components manufacturer Schmidt + Clemens have benefitted from Malaysia’s supportive policies, manufacturing ecosystem, world-class infrastructure, competitive talent pool and intellectual property protection.
He explained that the OSC recently enabled Schmidt + Clemens CEO Jan Schmidt-Krayer to enter Malaysia for three days in December last year as a short-term business traveller to help evaluate the company’s long-term plans within the region.
Schmidt-Krayer had described the whole process as having been managed professionally, and a MIDA representative escorted him at all times during his stay. He further expressed that the entire experience was smooth; accommodating his scheduled agenda perfectly and making it feel safe and convenient to travel during the current situation.
On that note, Arham said the OSC is pivotal in ensuring that Malaysia remains open for business.
“Not only does the OSC support economic growth, but it also balances public health and livelihoods, and strengthens Malaysia’s position as a competitive and preferred investment destination within Asia.
“Combined with Malaysia’s National Vaccination Programme, the OSC is playing an important role in Malaysia’s value proposition and ensuring a frictionless and productive flow of people, ideas and investment,” he added.
The application for business traveller entry will take three working days to process. As of April 23, a total of 10,788 long-term business traveller applications have been evaluated, with 93.0% (10,032 applications) recommended for approval.
Meanwhile, a total of 441 short term business traveller applications have been recommended for approval. For more information, contact the OSC Secretariat at [email protected]