Various sectors contribute to KL’s emergence as 2nd greatest city in SEA – academician

KUALA LUMPUR — The economic growth in the city of Kuala Lumpur does not rely solely on the financial sector as it is also contributed by crucial sectors like manufacturing, technology, services, and more, said the School of Economics, Finance and Banking of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) senior lecturer Dr Nur Hafizah Mohammad Ismail.

She said the multiple economic sectors add value to the capital city of Malaysia, allowing it to leverage economic opportunities within each industry.

“Through innovation, entrepreneurship, and competitiveness, these (diverse sectors) can further bolster the city’s economic position compared to other cities (in the country) that only focus on two or three sectors. That is Kuala Lumpur’s strength,” she said when appearing as a guest on Bernama TV’s programme titled ‘Kuala Lumpur Bandar Kedua Terhebat Asia Tenggara’ (Kuala Lumpur Second Greatest City in Southeast Asia).

The Oxford Economics Global Cities Index 2024 listed Kuala Lumpur as the second greatest city in the Southeast Asia (SEA) behind Singapore, placing it in the 135th position out of 1,000 cities globally.

The index comprises five categories: economy, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance, which are aggregated to create an overall score for each of city in the 163 countries involved.

Apart from Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown, Penang is at the 351st spot, while Melaka and Johor Bahru are at the 359th and 367th positions, respectively.

Nur Hafizah said all three cities have the potential to improve their positions in the index by upgrading several aspects, such as infrastructure development and quality of life.

“…the cities can invest in modernising public transportation, expanding digital infrastructure to make them more attractive for business and tourism sectors.

“On improving the quality of life…they can focus on environmental sustainability, increasing healthcare facilities, promoting cultural and recreational activities, and ensuring more affordable housing schemes,” she said.

She said the Oxford Economics Global Cities index serves as an essential indicator for policymakers, urban planners, investors, and other stakeholders in formulating better government policies to spur economic development and improve the quality of life in major cities across Malaysia. — BERNAMA